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Updated by Nick Kellet on Nov 13, 2015
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Nick Kellet Nick Kellet
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The Return on Investment of Lists #ROI Return on Lists #ROL

1

Lists prove to us we are smart.

Lists prove to us we are smart.

We read lists on topics we already know about or are already curious about. If we love sports cars and we see "12 Sports Cars to Drive before you die", we immediately think we'll know the answer. So we read the list to prove we know our stuff

2

Lists make us smarter

Lists make us smarter

Say I'm reading a list of "Top 10 Japanese Fantasy Novels", because I love these novels . I discover a new book I'd love to read. The list made me smarter. The list filled in a gap in my knowledge.

3

Lists are highly skimmable

Lists are highly skimmable

To prove we know what we know or to fill in the gap takes seconds. So lists leave us smarter. They make us feel good for a very small investment of time.

Lists are snack food. Lists are fastfood for the brain (measured in IQ points not calories)