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Forbes Article Cites Immersion to Disprove Common Myth

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Forbes’ Shane Snow recently wrote about the common myth of the 8-second human attention span, and cited the work of Dr. Paul Zak and Immersion to disprove it!

Snow detailed how some faulty “science” produced the 8-second fallacy, how it began to spread like wildfire over the internet in 2015, and how it led to problems for those who distributed it and took it seriously.

According to Snow, 

"TimeThe Independent, and even the New York Times Opinion section repeated it. Marketers swarmed to Twitter's advertising platform, the Internet's natural hunting ground for credit card-wielding goldfish. Conference keynote speakers gleefully put stock photos of goldfish in their slides.

It was even reported that the NBA was considering shortening games due to audiences' shortening attention spans." – Shane Snow, Forbes

While – in hindsight – an 8-second human attention span may appear absurd at face value, the fact that this “scientific” misconception spread so quickly and had real-world impact stresses the importance of combating these kinds of myths with legitimate science… and that’s where Immersion comes in!

As Snow noted, 

For the last 20 years, scientists like Dr. Paul Zak have been studying the experiences that induce [an] immersive state. In general, scientists have observed that when more of our brains are active in particular ways, we pay attention and encode more into memory. And good stories tend to check all the boxes. But the big epiphany for Dr. Zak and his neuro-technology company (which is actually called Immersion)–"

That's us!

"– is that immersive storytelling releases the empathy-related chemical oxytocin in our brains.

For example, when we encounter a story that we can relate to, our brains pay attention. We subconsciously grasp onto, gravitate to the familiar. That's not enough to sustain our attention, though, so a good story hooks us with the familiar, and then uses novelty as a mechanism to keep us going.

What's really afoot here: a great story triggers the subtle emotional centers of our brains so we can care enough to keep going. Novelty triggers surprise, delight, fascination. Tension triggers anxiety, curiosity, cravings. Relatability triggers empathy, nostalgia, happiness.

And when you weave those things in combination, you can string together a longer attention span." Shane Snow, Forbes

Immersion knows the science of holding people's attention, and we have the data-gathering product to back it up.

With Immersion, you can passively measure your audience’s reaction to content or an experience – in real time – to better understand when their brains are leaning in or tuning out.

This helps you be truly scientific to optimize your content or experience to be remembered by your audience and drive future action.

Ready to try Immersion?

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