Friday, August 25, 2006

Verbal Overshadowing

You know those times when you come across something and that "of course!" thought strikes you, well I've had one of those whilst reading a post from Jason. It's a pretty interesting article generally on the whys and wherefores of the creative brief. But something leapt out at me when I was getting down the bottom, in reference to why one shouldn't write everything down whilst working on a strategy - Verbal Overshadowing.

This is a phenomenon that I came across whilst doing my psychology degree on facial recognition. I'd completely forgotten about it, but essentially what has been discovered is that if people too early on in a process (in this case recalling the details of a criminal) talk about certain details they inhibit their future memory and ability to accurately recognise the said criminal.

The more I think about it, the more I wonder whether there are greater implications than simply brief writing. One of the things I find difficult is being asked to pitch or work on something that I have previously have had a lot of experience with before, I always find it more difficult to come up with something startling new, because my previous experience seems to get in the way. In fact I wonder whether one really can come up with something startling new, simply because of that fact.

So a Friday question to ponder on, how many pitches are won by planners (ok I know it's not all down to us, by roll with me) coming up with great insights as a result of previous experience in that field vs. those with none or only lateral experience?

Accepted wisdom would state that those with the more experience will come up with the richer insights, simply because they have more grasp of the subject, but I wonder whether this is true...

0 Thoughts?:

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