Last month, BBC Future published an article titled “The simple words that save lives.” The article illustrates the impact your choice of words can have when the stakes are high.
Police negotiation tactics
When dealing with people in crisis, for example, police negotiators often try to keep their subjects talking. In doing so, they noticed that asking their subjects to “talk” to them was far less effective than asking them to speak.
Talk is cheap
Negative subconcious associations with the word “talk” are likely to blame. Talk is cheap and “talking the talk” is less mindful than “walking the walk.” In actual conversations between a negotiator and person in crisis, when the negotiator uses the word speak (i.e. “I’d like to come down and speak to you,”) they are taken much more seriously.
The article states: “Despite being near synonyms, one word is loaded with context that makes it ineffective in certain scenarios, while the other is free of those associations.”
A single word substitution could be enough to save someone’s life.
Looking for answers
At Mindspeller we’re all about monitoring associations. Subconscious associations. We’ve plotted association strengths between over 14,000 words. This work resulted in a unique “Neuro-Semantic” Mind Map, validated with medical grade EEG, which allows us to measure the association strength between word pairs in 400 milliseconds. That’s too fast for conscious awareness!
When navigating the Mindspeller Mind Map, we can easily see that the word “talk” has a stronger association with the word cheap than with the word speak. So perhaps Mindspeller’s Software-as-a-Service can indeed save lives! It might not be a crisis situation, but we can help you optimize your content for campaigns that really matter.
Interested to learn how you can apply Mindspeller’s Neuro-scientific AI? Contact us for a demo today and get an inside look at your customers’ minds.