The internet is a realm full of recommendations. You can access information about a particular product through videos, blogs, social media posts, etc. However, a study published in the journal Psychological Science revealed that these tips are much more effective when given in audio rather than text.
- Storytelling can sync the hearts of people miles away
- Specific neurons light up in your brain when you hear someone sing
The Stanford team conducted a series of experiments in which participants encountered the same information in different forms, including computer-generated audio. The researchers found that, in general, auditory recommendations for products were more influential than textual ones.
“In theory, this shouldn’t result in any difference in behavior. The fact that it leads to psychologically different experiences that are significant enough to lead to a change in behavior is not expected,” reveal the authors of the article.
It is still a difficult task to identify the reason that justifies this difference, but the theory involves the ephemeral nature of auditory information, that is: unlike a text, the sound will soon disappear, and the person tends to value and absorb this content more. “When something tends to disappear, it creates a kind of response urgency”, say the scientists.
To test whether this theory was valid, the scientists had the study participants receive recommendations visually, but this time each word disappeared within moments. In this case, the probability of following the recommendation was the same as for the audio.
The researchers take the opportunity to reiterate what has already been raised by a previous study: authentic human voices are considered more competent and intelligent than computer-generated ones. “The reason for this is the paralinguistic cues of the human voice, such as intonation, pitch and volume”, conclude those involved.
Source: Psychological Science via Stanford Business