The effect of salience is very simple. What stands out more is remembered more. Although there are multiple mechanisms that can be used to stand out, at its core, the effect is essentially the same.

The Persuasion Psychology Behind the Technique

This happens due to evolutionary reasons. The things that stood out, in the past, were usually predators or, at least, dangerous things. So, evolutionarily, we have a tendency to be very aware of what stands out.

You can leverage this technique by simply standing out more in some way. There are multiple techniques to achieve this.

And it’s also important to take into account that salience is relative. So the more that the target is already used to what is similar to you – or even saturated – the even more extreme you have to be to stand out.


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Entropy compression

Entropy compression is an example of salience. Large patches of similar data are easily compressed. Unique, specific ones are not. In short, what “stands out” is not easily compressed. What is “boring” is

"That was a great speaker"

The peak-end effect at work. If a present had a highlight during the presentation and ended on a high note, chances are, regardless of whatever else happened, you will think they were a great speaker

Unexpected giving

One of the reasons why unexpected giving works so well is that it stands out a lot. Sometimes, it’s even actually bizarre. Everyone expects to receive a present on their birthday. But no hiring manager expects to receive a “thank you” card from a candidate. Or any prospect a free book during a sales call.

Use Cases For the Four Quadrants

Key Takeaways
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How to Stack This Technique