Home Psychology The Zeigarnik Effect: Why Do We Remember the Unfinished?

The Zeigarnik Effect: Why Do We Remember the Unfinished?

Do you feel you can’t get the unfinished things out of your mind? An incomplete movie, an unfinished meal, unfinished love… Does all this occupy your mind more than anything else? The Zeigarnik Effect is the concept that makes everything unfinished look so appealing.

What is the Zeigarnik effect?

The Zeigarnik Effect was introduced by Bluma Zeigarnik, a Soviet psychologist and psychiatrist. In 1920, a team of psychologists went to the University of Berlin restaurant for dinner. A single waiter takes all of the group’s orders but does not record or take notes. This situation intrigues one of the psychologists (Bluma Zeigarnik) and even causes him to go back to the restaurant and ask the waiter how he remembers so many orders. The waiter tells this curious man that he wrote down the charges in his mind and deleted them after he delivered the food.

As a result of this observation, Zeigarnik conducts various research and experiments and states that unfinished works occupy the mind. When these works are completed and completed, this preoccupation in our minds ends (Zeigarnik, 1927).

How does the Zeigarnik Effect affect our lives?

We often encounter the Zeigarnik Effect in our romantic relationships. For example, your relationship with someone you were in a relationship with or during the dating stage ended in a way that was out of your control. Our mind will constantly remind us of what we want to say or not, what we want to do together but can’t, and it will make us feel like we never stop. When this situation continues in its ordinary course, after a while, the concept of time comes into play, and you eventually become insensitive.

Unfinished travels, movies, words, assignments, exams we didn’t prepare well, and desserts that we can’t wait to get another fork are very hard to forget, just like unfinished love.

For example, people who went abroad but had to return from there often talk about that country. Another example is education life. High school is the period most frequently mentioned by people whose education life ends in high school is related to the fact that high school years are fresh in their minds. Another situation we often encounter in our daily lives is that the episodes of the series are finished in the most exciting places: “To be continued….” Thus, the series arouses the audience’s curiosity and becomes an incentive to watch the next episode.

By volunteering to solve the problems in your life, completing the incomplete ones, ending the sentence, or saying goodbye to the relationships that have finished, you can more easily cope with the feeling of failure, anxiety, and anxiety caused by leaving it unfinished, and you can tire yourself less emotionally and mentally.