psychology of words


Owner & Founder of Afternoon Writings

Psychology Of Words – How Words Can Change The Way We Feel

The psychology of words

You probably already know this about me: I am a logophile, a lover of words. I’m also fascinated with the psychology of words. Hidden in words are incredible insights into who we are, how we think, and what we feel. According to researcher and author Andrew Newberg, words can even change the way we feel. With this in mind, think about how the words you use throughout your content will make your audience feel.

Words as a marketing tool

The ability to create emotion is what makes words such a powerful marketing tool. Choosing your words wisely can mean the difference between landing a project or client, or losing out. In fact, using the right words in your content helps you connect with our audience and inspire them to take action. First of all, deliberately crafting your words to communicate your value will help your audience visualize how good they feel. Second, it shows them what they will gain from buying your product or using your service. Ofcourse, there are certain words that hold more sway over our decision making process than others, but before we look into some of those, let’s dig into our brain and find out what happens when we hear words.

Our Brain Knows Words

Using fMRI, speech neurobiology expert Dr Sophie Scott found that our brain plucks words from other noises, and then uses two different areas to give it meaning. The left side of the brain takes care of the meaning of the word, while the right side of the brains reveals mood. Furthermore, research shows that when exposed to negative communications, such as a frustrating meeting with a coworker, our brain changes its neural pathways and can make us feel like Negative Nancy for the rest of the day. On the contrary, we can turn back into Positive Polly with the help of a feel-good chemical, called dopamine. Our brain releases dopamine when something good happens unexpectedly. In addition, dopamine tells us this is the right thing to do and we should do it again. Exactly the kind of response you would want from your audience, right?

Words with a dash of dopamine

Imagine your audience hanging to on every word you write. Cloud cuckoo land? I don’t think so. You can give your audience a dash of dopamine simply by using words in unexpected ways. The key is thinking outside the box and to have fun with your writing. Wordplay, for instance, makes your writing more persuasive, easier to remember, and more exciting to read. For example, I recently read an article that gave SEO copywriting. This article made me laugh. But most importantly, I still remember it, even though it’s one amongst thousands of articles on SEO copywriting out there. This particular article stood out to me because of the use of Haiku -a wordplay technique. Along with Haiku, there are plenty of other ways to play with words. My personal favourite: attention-grabbing alliteration!
What is your favourite wordplay technique?
Unexpected words
Give a dash of dopamine
Call us to action

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