category: UIUX 360

Zeigarnik Effect

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Zeigarnik Effect

What is Zeigarnik Effect?


The Zeigarnik effect is the tendency for tasks that are interrupted and incomplete to be remembered better than tasks that are completed. The Zeigarnik effect may improve mental health by providing the motivation needed to complete tasks.

The Zeigarnik effect is a psychological phenomenon that describes the tendency to recall interrupted or incomplete tasks or events more easily than completed ones. This phenomenon was first observed in the early 1900s and has been reproduced in several studies.

Whether one's daily responsibilities are interrupted by an urgent task at work, or a college student takes a study break to relax before a big exam, the human psyche has an innate desire for closure.

Unfinished tasks often lead to frequent and stressful intrusive thoughts and these thoughts can promote anxiety, reduce sleep, and further deplete a person's mental and emotional resources, possibly even contributing to maladaptive behaviors. The Zeigarnik effect can improve a person's mental health.

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