Some interesting psychologies for PMs

Inhibiting Pressures

  • The phenomenon: human activity is influenced by reasons not to do something, in addition to reasons to do something
  • The application: remove inhibiting pressures and friction to get users to “wow” fast

Procedural Knowledge

  • The phenomenon: Humans remember sequences (procedural knowledge) better than facts (declarative)
  • The application: the flow of the product should show what steps users have to complete

Hick’s Law

  • The law: people will take a longer amount of time to decide if they have more choices
  • The application: present a limited number of choices at any given time as users advance through your interface

Fogg Behavior

  • The model: Behavior = Motivation + Ability + Trigger
  • The application: either make the required product behavior simple or build high motivation to induce user action

Variable Rewards

  • The phenomenon: if constant and consistent rewards are given for a particular activity, sooner or later the interest to keep performing that activity is lost
  • The antidote: modify fixed reward patterns to variable

Predictably Irrational

  • The phenomenon: Our irrational behaviors are neither random nor senseless — they are systematic
  • The application: Product opportunity lies in helping people not make those mistakes

Inside View

  • The phenomenon: we’re optimistic when we make estimates because we take the inside view using our perspective
  • The antidote: get an outside view to sanity check estimates and account for the perspective that others looking at your project have

Ostrich Effect

  • The phenomenon: We ignore “dangerous,” ie negative, information by burying our heads in the sand like ostriches
  • The antidote: Run ideas through prototype testing and the company to hear the cons of a solution before building it

Spotlight Effect

  • The phenomenon: We overestimate how much people notice us and our flaws
  • The antidote: Fix mistakes via feedback but never be shy about doing the job

Pro-Innovation Bias

  • The phenomenon: We tend to overvalue the usefulness of innovations
  • The antidote: Prefer the simplest way to solve a user need over the most innovative

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