What is the Sarick Effect?

One of the joys of reading a great new book is learning about various studies and rules and effects that the author has managed to unearth.

originals gifAdam Grant’s awesome new book Originals: How Non Conformists Move the World mentions the Sarick Effect, in which initially arguing against your own idea or product can improve the audience’s reception of the product.


Grant explains that a) leading with a weakness disarms the audience b) too much optimism seems like salesmanship c) critical comments are perceived as smarter than positive comments d) starting negative boosts trust and finally e) listing negatives makes it harder for listeners to enumerate their own ‘new’ negatives.

Taken together, Grant’s analysis is well documented and argued, well worth remembering whenever you’re pitching a great new idea to someone who may want to prove how smart they are by pointing out that the idea will fail because its ‘unconventional.’

So who is the Sarick Effect named for? You’ll be surprised. But you’ll  have to buy the book to learn that.