Metaphors matter. In a study of women who were about to give birth, the mothers-to-be were told to expect a local anesthesia before receiving an epidural. Nurses told one group they were going to get “a local anesthetic that will numb the area so you will be comfortable during the procedure.” Another group was told, “You are going to feel a big bee sting; this is the worst part of the procedure.” Not surprisingly, the group that heard the “bee sting” comment perceived significantly greater pain.
Confusion abounds from the candidates themselves, giving new meaning to the term “Etch-a-Sketch,” a colorful description of the erasing-and-ever-shifting positions of a particular presidential candidate, who shall remain nameless.
Twitter finished what the 30-second commercial started in the 1990s – reducing our attention spans from minutes to microseconds. The visualization of content hasn’t helped. It’s so difficult to get and keep someone’s attention these days that our political leaders are resorting to ludicrous visualizations to create hysteria, rather than clarity and reason.