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May 29, 2007


Rachel Hauck

Interesting. :)

While reading this, I kept thinking how Shelby wanted to tell people she cares about - her parents.

As I read, I felt my minor theory was confirmed. She didn't want to tell any one else she met that day because she either didn't care as much about them or her desire to "spread the word" was satisfied by telling her parents.

Could it have been like gossip? A person has a good piece of news, perhaps shocking, and they can't wait to tell someone. Once they do, the "thrill" is over so the desire to continue spreading the word has passed.

Or, perhaps discovering what happened to Will impacted her emotionally and by talking about it, her excitement or even worry was abated.

In marketing, how can we create this same excitement and desire so the person with the knowledge wants to tell more than one person, and is not satisified with delivering her knowledge one or two time.

Fun to think about. :)


ML Eqatin

Hey, maybe you are reading too much marketing and too little people sense into Shelby's behavior. Owning a piece of knowledge that others do not have gives you status. Shelby is no doubt fairly accurate in her asessment of who would give her attention or status for her statement, and who would not (or perhaps whose attention she did not particularly want).
And Rachel, alas, a tidbit told does not end the desire to continue spreading gossip. Every re-telling reinforces a gossip's behavior, unless she receives a sharp put-down. And even then, she is most likely to gossip about that.
Listened to your book, Greg. Commented on other blogs about it. Bought it for my reference shelf. Thanx.
MLE (Mom of many)

Greg Stielstra

I've been reading about marginal utility of gain lately. I wonder whether it applies here too, or whether I'm just projecting my current interest onto this post?

Marginal utility of gain states that as we acquire more of something we value each new "something" a little less than the one before. Finding a dollar on the sidewalk feels good. But, finding a second dollar on the sidewalk doesn't make us feel twice as good. Our objective gain doubled from $1 to $2, but our subjective gain (pleasure or satisfaction. economists call it "utility") increased from 1 to about 1.88.

This may explain why Foreigner sang "It Feels Like the First Time" and not "It Feels Like the Second Time."

As the pleasure from retelling what she knew steadily declined it would, at some point, slip below the threshold above which the pleasure of telling exceeded the work involved. Once that happened Shelby would stop talking about her news.

I'm guessing here, but it makes sense in light of marginal utility of gain.

Thanks for listening to and telling others about my book. Spread the fire. GS

ML Eqatin

That sounds reasonable, and probably works when the reasoning part of the brain is in gear. But my specialty is people who have addictive behaviors, and for them it is just the opposite. Each repetition lessens the pleasure, but increases the desire to repeat the behavior in the hopes of getting that 'lost satisfaction'. This may have biological roots; for instance, rats can be taught to 'gamble' for a food reward until the desire to gamble outweights the reward even when they are starving. Of course, rats aren't prone to sin, which explains why it is fairly hard to make them gambling addicts, but some humans only take once.

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