Emotion vs Facts: What’s More Persuasive?

Minute read
Emotion vs Facts: What’s More Persuasive?

Does this sound familiar? Back up your position with facts; the more reasons you can offer, the more persuasive your argument. Right? Not quite.

Sometimes, trying to convince someone with a series of facts can feel like hitting your head against a brick wall. That’s because being right is not enough.

While few of us will admit it, most people are persuaded by emotion. We then rationalize our position with facts. This means when behavior change is our goal, facts and stats are important—but not as important as an emotionally-persuasive narrative.

Facts and stats ARE important. But not as important as an emotionally persuasive narrative.

The subject matter most of us are working with affords us emotionally-charged content in spades. So, unless you’re writing a factsheet, focus on emotionally-charged content and be discerning with the facts and stats you choose to back up your case.

Leading with facts:
Scientists agree that cages prohibit chickens from expressing their natural behaviors. Cages are cruel and should be banned.

Leading with emotion:
A hen trapped in a cage spends her entire life unable to walk, stretch, or breathe fresh air. Scientists agree this is cruel. Cages should be banned.

There are simple ways to turn ‘fact-heavy’ issues into emotionally-persuasive arguments. Try these five ways to heighten the emotional impact of your writing.

From: Engage your reader’s emotional brain

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Karen Nilsen

Hi there! I’m Karen. I’m on a mission to reach my former self. Had I known 10 years ago what I know today, I could have achieved more good, made fewer mistakes, and had more weekends. Every time we share what works, we win faster. Let’s create digital experiences that move people — that grow our base and fuel our movements. Are you with me? Please share this with someone you know who wants to up their digital game!

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