In today’s marketing landscape, the barrier to entry for creating and publishing new content is at an all-time low. That means social networks and other distribution channels are flooded with content – and so naturally, as a way of filtering and screening our feeds, we gravitate to the content that everyone else is sharing.

These widely-shared articles, infographics, and videos tend to pique our curiosity, or they hit us with powerful “a-ha” moments. After all, these things are going viral for a reason.

Whether you are a marketer or an occasional writer, it’s worth knowing how this coveted viral effect comes about. Today’s infographic comes from Outgrow, and it covers two psychological theories on what leads to viral content, why we share certain things, and some examples of winning viral campaigns that took advantage of triggering these emotions.

People share individual pieces of content for all types of reasons, but there are some commonalities. According to psychological theory, content that feels novel or that fills information gaps may trigger the release of dopamine in the brain.

Further, content that touches the right emotions (excitement, surprise, nostalgia, etc.) can also latch onto a viral effect. Here are two well-documented psychological effects that trigger the reward pathways in the brain. Read more from…

thumbnail courtesy of