“People fall in love with people, not statistics. … Stories with people in them tend to attract more than those without.” — Peter Jacobi, professor emeritus and Adjunct Riley Lecturer at the Indiana University School of Journalism
Read the full text of Rudolf Flesh’s “A New Readability Yardstick.” In this 1949 Journal of Psychology article, the creator of the Flesch Reading Ease test outlines his formula for measuring human interest in a story.
Why do people care more about a single person than millions of nameless, faceless souls? In this working paper on “The Impact of Learning about the Identifiable Victim Effect on Sympathy,” researchers Deborah A. Small, George Loewenstein, Paul Slovic outline the history of the identifiable victim effect and their own research on the topic.