What Is Zeigarnik Effect?

The Zeigarnik Effect, named after Soviet psychologist Bluma Zeigarnik, is based on the concept that the human nature is always to finish what they start and if we do not finish the task, they experience dissonance, resulting in an uncomfortable feeling as people remember unfinished or interrupted tasks better than completed tasks.

Not finishing something puts us in a state of tension that makes us pay more attention to the thing we want to finish. The consequence is that we remember uncompleted tasks more than the tasks already completed and are often driven by this effect to complete something. In other words, we have little motivation to recall things we’ve finished whereas we have a strong investment of interest in unfinished things and this keeps them in the forefront of our minds.

Zeigarnik Effect In Digital Marketing
The Zeigarnik Effect has many possibilities for application in the commercial world. It is for example often used by TV shows or video games that engage the “cliffhanger effect” to keep watchers and users engaged with their product. It can also utilize online to ensure customers don’t feel the sense of dissonance associated with this effect. Providing a clear and positive sense of progression and ultimate closure through displaying things such as progress bars can help to make your customer aware of how far along in the payment or sign-up process they have gotten and encourage them to continue on to completion.

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