Otherwise known as the “Oh Shit!/Oh Cool!” technique.
Earlier I blogged about how the brain is tuned for novelty, but tunes out that which is common or expected.
Some of the areas where this matters include training, filmmaking, advertising, and I suppose dating. Director/writer David Mamet says that the prime objective of a director is to present a story that is “both surprising and inevitable at the same time.” Kind of the “OH!!” followed by “Oh… of course…” feeling.
AI and learning guru Roger Schank puts it this way in his e-Learning book,
“A good course must enable failures that surprise the student. Failure is the key to learning. We have to work hard to recover when things don’t work out the way we expected…For this natural learning process to work in a course, the course must surprise its students. But, more than that, it must put students in a situation where they are entertaining predictions in the first place.”
And from an article titled Information is Surprises:
“Information is surprises. We all expect the world to work out in certain ways, but when it does, we’re bored. What makes something worth knowing is organized around the concept of expectation failure.”
At Sun, we used to have a lot of battles over the evaluation form that custome
…excerpt from: headrush.typepad.com…