Ryan Shmeizer gives us 10 reasons why lists are so tough to resist:
In the end, we have what Charlie Munger calls the Lollapalooza Effect: when multiple psychological biases combine together in the same direction, the effect is compounded on a tremendous scale. It’s no wonder that Buzzfeed’s list of it’s 50 Best Posts of 2013 contains 37 posts that are themselves list. So don’t feel bad when your time drains into the black abyss of Buzzfeed, Medium Top 10 Lists, EliteDaily and 9GAG. You never stood a chance.
I didn’t give anything away by focusing on the end. The article itself is a pretty impressive list (yes, it’s of course presented as a list). I’d have thought of some of these (appeal to authority, false time constraints), but I’d have been hard-pressed to come up with all of them (dopamine neurons, memory palace).
I learned a lot from reading the article. The only thing you really need to know, though, is that People Love Lists.
Now who would be so craven as to appeal to this bias?
Onward and upward with a list (of sorts) from the great Harlan Pepper: