Sunday, 30 March 2014

Subliminal Ways To Affect Book Review Ratings

Research suggests that certain 'trigger' words can influence a reader's perception of a book.

Physical and subliminal conditions
can alter a reader's perception of a book.
A recent report published by a team of pyschology scientists at the University Of Central Newcastle has revealed some interesting findings into the effects of environmental conditions on a reader's enjoyment of a book, and the results will be of interest to authors and readers alike.

The full report stretches to eighteen pages, but to briefly summarise the results of their experiment, two groups of readers were given the same selection of books to read and then asked to rate each book out of ten.  However, one subtle difference was that the second group was housed in a room where the temperature was kept five degrees higher than that of the first group.

Interestingly, this second group gave their books ratings which were higher by a 'statistically significant' amount.  The experiment was repeated several times and on each occasion the group in the warmer room always rated their books as more satisfying and enjoyable, suggesting that this was no random occurence and that the cause and effect were interlinked.  In fact even a two degree increase in temperature was enough to produce slightly better review ratings, but for maximum effect an increase in temperature of five degrees was found to produce the most noticeably more enjoyable reading experience.

What will be of particular interest to authors, however, is that the team of scientists responsible for this research, also discovered that they were able to replicate this artificial 'increased reading enjoyment effect' by subliminally influencing the reader's mind.  In a further experiment two groups were given similar but not quite identical short stories to read.  The story given to the second group had several 'trigger' words included in the text, such as warm, sunny, melting, perspiring or sweating.  Incredibly, the results were very similar to the initial temperature experiment, with the second group once again giving the short stories 'statistically significant' higher review ratings.

The University Of Central Newcastle
The report concludes that certain trigger words can therefore be used to manipulate review ratings, and the most effective words for producing higher ratings were found to be scorching, sizzling and sweltering.  The most effective parts of a book to include the trigger words were found to be the opening and closing chapters.  It would seem therefore that first impressions do last and of course the final impression that a book leaves with a reader is always important.

Anyway, as both a reader and an author myself it was interesting to read about this experiment, and discover that authors are able to artificially tinker with my perception of their work, and thus potentially improve their review averages, simply by including certain trigger words in their writing.  It all seems very 'Derren Brown' and also a bit worrying to learn that the human mind is so easily suggestible to outside influence.

Of course as an author myself I would never dream of using such devious underhand methods to influence a reader's enjoyment of one of my books, and similarly I would like to think that no other authors would knowingly stoop to such levels.  In fact when I was sunbathing on the beach today enjoying the scorching weather and sweltering away in the sun, I remember lying there reading an excellent book and thinking to myself how satisfying it was that the author was able to produce such a sizzling read without resorting to such sneaky subliminal methods.

If you'd like to read the full report into the effects of subliminal trigger words on a reader's perception of a book, then scroll down the page for a link to the University Of Central Newcastle website where you can download a pdf of the report...

'Be Careful What You Wish For'
The second book in the
'How To Save The World' series.
Please note, this story is not real and is entirely made up.  There are no subliminal effects caused by including heat related trigger words in your novels, and doing so will not lead to higher review ratings.  Also, Newcastle has two universities but neither of them are called the University Of Central Newcastle.  I just made that up as well.

This made up story was written by Charles Fudgemuffin, author of the alien comedy 'How To Save The World' books which are available for Kindle from Amazon.

You can download a sizzling free sample of the first book in the series from the following link:
How To Save The World: An Alien Comedy

Please note, the 'How To Save The World' books are not recommended for prudes or squares.

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About The Author

The 'How To Save The World' books
by Charles Fudgemuffin
Charles Fudgemuffin is the author of the alien comedy 'How To Save The World' books which are available for Kindle from Amazon.  The first book in the series is available from the following link:
How To Save The World: An Alien Comedy

As with all Kindle books, you can also download a free sample of the first few chapters.

Please note, the 'How To Save The World' books contain material suitable for ages 18+ and are not recommended for prudes or squares.