Monday, April 13, 2015

What’s worse than being the boy who cried wolf? It’s being the girl who cried goldfish!

The cover of Sam Horn’s new book Got Your Attention? (How to Create Intrigue and Connect with Anyone) has an image of a goldfish below the title. It goes with two sentences in the introduction:

“Did you know goldfish, yes, goldfish, have longer attention spans than we humans do?

Nine seconds to our eight. At least that’s what Harvard Business School researcher Nancy F. Koehn reported in a February 2014 Marketplace Business article (ref 1).”

She also has a blog post titled Did You Know GOLDFISH have Longer Attention Spans Than Humans Do? in which she crows about how the goldfish is becoming the “poster fish” of our allegedly shrinking attention span.

But, neither Sam nor Nancy checked carefully to see where that dubious pair of statistics really came from. It’s a web page at a silly website called Statistic Brain. Last December I blogged about how Statistic Brain is just a statistical medicine show, and included the attention span statistics as my second example. 

 That’s too bad, since both the book and her TEDxBethesdaWomen talk on Intrigue make some interesting points.

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