Ideas from books, articles & podcasts.
The father of industrial design, Raymond Loewy had an uncanny sense of how to make things fashionable. He believed that consumers are torn between two opposing forces: neophilia, a curiosity about new things; and neophobia, a fear of anything too new. As a result, they gravitate to products that ...
Why do people like what they like?
It is one of the oldest questions of philosophy and aesthetics. Ancient thinkers inclined to mysticism proposed that a “golden ratio”—about 1.62 to 1, as in, for instance, the dimensions of a rectangle—could explain the visual perfection of objec...
In the 1960s, the psychologist Robert Zajonc conducted a series of experiments where he showed subjects nonsense words, random shapes, and Chinese-like characters and asked them which they preferred. In study after study, people reliably gravitated toward the words and shapes they’d seen the most...
In mere-exposure studies, the preference for familiar stimuli is attenuated or negated entirely when the participants realize they’re being repeatedly exposed to the same thing. For that reason, the power of familiarity seems to be strongest when a person isn’t expecting it.
The reverse is ...
Eureka moments are a force in the academic world as well.
Scientists and philosophers are exquisitely sensitive to the advantage of ideas that already enjoy broad familiarity.
In 2014, a team of researchers from Harvard University studied about sort of proposals that were most likely ...
In Silicon Valley, where venture capitalists also sift through a surfeit of proposals, many new ideas are promoted as a fresh spin on familiar successes.
Optimal newness in names: Most parents prefer first names for their children that are common but not too common, optimal...
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