acm - an acm publication

2011 - October

  • The 7% rule: fact, fiction, or misunderstanding

    In 1971, Albert Mehrabian published a book Silent Messages, in which he discussed his research on non-verbal communication. He concluded that prospects based their assessments of credibility on factors other than the words the salesperson spoke---the prospects studied assigned 55 percent of their weight to the speaker's body language and another 38 percent to the tone and music of their voice. They assigned only 7 percent of their credibility assessment to the salesperson's actual words. Over the years, this limited experiment evolved to a belief that movement and voice coaches would be more valuable to teaching successful communication than speechwriters. In fact, in 2007 Allen Weiner published So Smart But… discussing how to put this principle to work in organizations.

  • Steve Jobs and the user psyche
    Much has been said about Steve Jobs's ability to anticipate what users would want. No one quite knows how he did it. Ubiquity's Peter Denning reflects on an interview with the Apple co-founder, which offers a glimpse into Jobs's process for understanding the user.