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To create interest, point out a knowledge gap

To create interest, point out a knowledge gap To create interest, point out a knowledge gap
Source: hclay via DeviantArt
Made to Stick
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Made to Stick
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How do you get people interested in a topic? You point out a gap in their knowledge (…) Knowledge gaps create interest. But to prove that the knowledge gaps exist, it may be necessary to highlight some knowledge first. "Here's what you know. Now here's what you're missing."

Alternatively, you can set context so people care what comes next. It's no accident that mystery novelists and crossword-puzzle writers give us clues. When we feel that we're close to the solution of a puzzle, curiosity takes over and propels us to the finish.

(...)

For our idea to endure, we must generate interest and curiosity. How do you keep students engaged during the forty-eighth history class of the year? We can engage people's curiosity over a long period of time by systematically "opening gaps" in their knowledge—and then filling those gaps. (…) Surprise makes us want to find an answer—to resolve the question of why we were surprised—and big surprises call for big answers. If we want to motivate people to pay attention, we should seize the power of big surprises.


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