If they’re attorneys (a lot of them are), they tend to be VERY linear thinkers. They believe the most important thought or item in the list ought to go first, with whatever follows coming more or less in descending order.
While they didn’t sign up for the lecture, I give it to them anyway. It goes something like this:
I say, “Not all readers are as linear as you are. Whether it’s a list, an article or magazine, studies suggest that people are likely to skip around. They MIGHT even begin at the bottom.” Once this heresy has soaked in for a moment, I offer them the science behind that kind of graze-as-you-go reading behavior. (more…)