Expect the unexpected: why surprises can be good for us

I’m off on an adventure today with a friend, but i’m the only one who knows what it is that we’re going to be doing. It’s a surprise. I can’t even tell you.

Surprises can be good: they stop things being predictable and the problem with predictability is that we anticipate the ending. We are well adapted to racing through to the end, especially if we have been conditioned to know what to expect. That’s why the unexpected is used as a plot device to recapture our attention (although one could argue that we are so conditioned to this that we know the body of the baddie lying in the background is just absolutely BOUND to get back up again for one last shot).

Whilst we want to deliver ease of navigation, clarity of design and simplicity in instruction and content, some surprises are perfectly ok too. They can keep us interested and bring us back for the sequel.

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About julianstodd

A learning and development professional specialising in e-learning and learning technology.
This entry was posted in Adventure, Curiosity, Engagement, Learning, Learning Design, Stories, Surprise and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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