- They’re easy to read
- Lists gives you a sense of achievement
- People like to see items on lists they’ve already completed to check them off
- No imagination on the part of the writers?
- Attention spans are …
Have you noticed they never seem to go much higher than the mid-teens? Think about the psychology. I’ve read listicles citing the three antioxidant foods you must have in your diet and the 6 antioxidant foods and the 10 antioxidant foods. The 3 things you should do before you get up, the 5 things you should do before you go to bed and the 10 foods you should eat every day. The 4 tasks happy people do before they go to work… If you put a list of 20 steps to recovery in front of a chronically ill person… But a 20 steps to success for an accountant might work? I’m pretty sure I once saw a 10 steps… that had 11 steps listed. It’s actually quite amusing to search online for these lists if you need a laugh. But don’t take them too seriously. They’re condensed fast-food versions of advice meant to grab your attention and get your eye to see the ads next to them. They’re the advertisers and ‘content’ writers treating you like the lowest common denominator.
And if you don’t believe that, I’ve got a list for you.