Your past record or future potential – which angle is more persuasive for pitching a campaign proposal?

If you are promoting a product or trying for a new job, do you focus on your past performance or on your potential? The answer to this has been revealed by recent research.

Researchers at Stanford University put this matter to the test in a couple situations. Job applications where two candidates had almost identical qualifications and experience were assessed by a panel. The candidate whose CV scored highly on a leadership potential test was chosen over the candidate whose CV showed highly on a leadership assessment test.

Also, to test this in a consumer environment, a study was conducted among users of a social media website. Facebook users were shown a series of quotes about a comedian. Quotes about his potential drew more general interest, measured by click through rates and likes, compared with information about his actual performances.

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