Why social content is extra memorable

Turns out that people can remember social content better than a CNN headline, a sentence randomly selected from a book, or even than a human face. Psychology researchers published a fascinating paper back in January that showed through a series of experiments that Facebook posts — chosen with a range of emotions and writing styles — are extraordinarily memorable. But why?

facebook_postA few reasons: the text is designed to be complete (unlike a sentence from a book); gossipy/entertainment content is inherently more memorable than straight news; and casually generated language, however “vacuous, narcissistic, or vapid” is apparently more memorable. This last reason is intriguing — the idea that copy created off the top of one’s head is somehow more “mind-ready” for the recipient to absorb and retain. No wonder no one can ever remember a corporate mission statement.

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