Apart from the usual phrases of conversation that do not open the way for an exciting and interesting dialogue, whether it is about “personal status” or “weather conditions,” there is a trick. Psychological Very interesting, it urges the person in front of you to break the circle of silence and inner thoughts and engage in interesting dialogue full of information. This trick is called “Cunningham’s Law.”
This concept is named after Ward Cunningham, Founder of Wikipedia, the site touted as the biggest incarnation of this law.
How Cunningham’s Law works
When you ask a normal question (directly or on a group conversation on social media), others may not respond, but when you ask a question with wrong information, you provoke the person in front of you and he answers, but not to prove that you are wrong; But to prove that it is the most correct.
The secret is that people do not tend to be helpful as much as they tend to prove that they know more or more intelligent, which is what this “law” assumes.
Generally speaking, our brains tend to correct things, according to For one of the researchersThis human tendency to correct others can be used as a strategic tool to increase the participation of others by 80%, for example students in the classroom.
But how is saying the wrong thing supposed to increase the conversation?
This human trait is called “Cunningham’s law,” a phenomenon believed to influence human behavior in the middle of the discussion; In other words: ask stupid things to get smart answers.
Cunningham’s law succeeds every time, because it takes a person out of his inner circle of thoughts to correct information, which leads to the beginning of discussion, participation, response, and the expression of opinions, etc.
Instead of asking a normal, generic question, you can spark a discussion with someone by giving the wrong answer or asking a question that already contains the wrong information.
People are very likely to correct what I just made, but what they don’t know is that you are testing them and prompting them to debate.
Cunningham’s law resembles what Socrates experimented with nearly 2,500 years ago, when the ancient Greek philosopher troubled many people during his reign with questioning their knowledge.
In the simplest and most accurate explanation of the phenomenon described: People generally do not want to be cooperative, but rather they want to prove that they are the smartest person in the room.
The strange thing is that this trick can be applied outside of oral or electronic discussions and not just with questions, but with actions.
For example, if you are working in the design field and are in a state of lack of inspiration, it is enough to draw a bad initial design and ask for the opinion of colleagues, the person provoked by your mistakes will be quick to correct, improve and modify, and then you may regain the inspiration to come up with a perfect design.
How do I apply Cunningham’s law?
If you ask someone to tell you about his profession, for example in the field of engineering, he will simply answer you that it is about systems design, and the explanation will not be extensive.
But if you asked him this way: “You are an engineer, then you are designing engines, right?” Then he will delve into the details and you will find that the dialogue has branched out and began to branch out and urge the person in front of you to speak.
The more you add the expression (Are you sure), the more you talk about it, and while he thinks you are less intelligent than him, the intelligent speaker does not realize that you are taking him where you want to.
This trend is widely known and is being exploited in more than one field French culture There is an old saying: prêcher le faux pour savoir le vrai (preach to falsehood to know the truth).
Even the US Federal Bureau of Investigation is taking advantage of this human willingness to correct information as one of the investigative methods.
Defects of Cunningham’s Law
Although it is interesting how a person can be motivated to participate in a dialogue with wrong information, this may lead the other person to underestimate you, thinking that he is smarter than you.
But this trick helps people engage in talking about a topic in which they feel they excel, so the discussion becomes important, interesting, and satisfying to them.
And because they do not realize that you are manipulating them, they will slightly underestimate you and this is of course the tax of manipulating them psychologically!