Experts are more
persuasive when they seem tentative about their conclusions, a study
soon to be published in the Journal of Consumer Research suggests. But
the opposite is true of novices, who grow more persuasive with
increasing certainty. In one experiment, college students were
randomly assigned one of four variations of a restaurant review,
praising a local Italian spot. In some versions, the reviewer was
described as a famous food critic; in others, he was a technology
worker at a local college with a penchant for fast food. Each of the
critics expressed positive certainty about the restaurant's virtues in
one variation, and tentative praise in another. Asked to evaluate the
restaurant, the students who read the expert's review liked it much
better when he seemed tentative; the opposite was true of the novice…
The story is here. Of course I'm not sure you should ponder these sentences. Maybe you should, maybe you shouldn't. If that.
I thank John De Palma for the pointer.