Using News and Current Events to Your Advantage – Anchoring

Everyone knows that the media has a great impact on the public’s attitudes toward a given issue, so much so that the public is often polarized about certain issues before the experts have even given their views. But did you know that you can use news and current events to your advantage in convincing the public about something? It is actually a well-known psychological phenomenon known as anchoring. Here are some examples of how it works:

Good News Items. One of the key factors that influence people’s opinions about an issue or a situation is the overall general content or “good” news about that issue. Examples of good news items are news items that appear right after the main headlines on major news websites and newspapers. Examples of newsworthy items that appeared in the past but now out of date are the Egyptianair attack and the end of the global ice age. These types of news items help solidify support for an opinion, which in turn helps people avoid opposing viewpoints based on unverified information.

Current news items. Current news items are newsworthy only in the eyes of the public that is reading or listening to the news. For this reason, these kinds of news items should be very brief and easy to digest. One good example of a current news story idea that is easy to listen to and understand is an interview with someone high profile about an event that happened recently. Such an interview will help the public remember and gain a different perspective on an important current event that was recently covered by the media.