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  • Writer's pictureDavid de Souza

Contagious - 80/20 Summary

Updated: Feb 15, 2022


Mental Models from the book:

'Contagious' can be summarised into 6 mental models:

1. Association
  • Voting location has a big impact on how people vote. More than 10,000 people voted for school funding when the voting location was at a school.

2. Attention Bias
  • Create surprise by breaking a pattern that people have come to expect.

3. Availability Heuristic
  • Most conversation is small talk. We are simply looking for something to say to avoid silence and to keep the conversation going. We usually talk about whatever is at the forefront of our mind.

4. Emotions
  • High arousal emotions make people share more because they motivate them to action.

    1. High Arousal/Positive Emotions: Awe. Excitement. Amusement (humor)

    2. High Arousal/Negative Emotions: Anger. Anxiety. Disgust.

    3. Low Arousal/Positive Emotions: Contentment

    4. Low Arousal/Negative Emotions: Sadness

  • Focus on feelings instead of functions (of the product).

5. Narrative Instinct/Tendency to Minimize Energy Output
  • Stories are more perusable than facts for 2 reasons:

    1. It's difficult to argue against something that happened to a specific person unless we were there.

    2. We become distracted in the drama of the story and don't have the cognitive resources to reason or question, and we are therefore more likely to be persuaded.

6. Status
  • People share things that make them look good. We don't share things that make us or others look bad.

  • Remarkable things make people who talk about them remarkable and give them social currency.


Mental Model Mind Maps:

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