Rhyme-as-reason effect

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The rhyme-as-reason effect, or Eaton-Rosen phenomenon,[1][2][3] is a cognitive bias whereupon a saying or aphorism is judged as more accurate or truthful when it is rewritten to rhyme.

In experiments, subjects judged variations of sayings which did and did not rhyme, and tended to evaluate those that rhymed as more truthful (controlled for meaning). For example, the saying "What sobriety conceals, alcohol reveals" was judged more accurate on average than: "What sobriety conceals, alcohol unmasks", sampling across separate groups of subjects (who each assessed the accuracy of only one of these statements).[4]

The effect could be caused by the Keats heuristic, according to which a statement's truth is evaluated according to aesthetic qualities;[5] or the fluency heuristic, according to which things could be preferred due their ease of cognitive processing.[6]


  1. ^ Marsh, Robert (2017). "Timex and Beowulf and a copywriting secret you should know".
  2. ^ "The Rhyme-as-Reason Effect: Why Rhyming Makes Your Message More Persuasive". 2019.
  3. ^ McOwan, Peter William; Curzon, Paul (2017). The Power of Computational Thinking: Games, Magic and Puzzles to Help You Become a Computational Thinker.
  4. ^ McGlone, M. S.; J. Tofighbakhsh (2000). "Birds of a feather flock conjointly (?): rhyme as reason in aphorisms". Psychological Science. 11 (5): 424–428. doi:10.1111/1467-9280.00282. PMID 11228916.
  5. ^ McGlone, M. S.; J. Tofighbakhsh (1999). "The Keats heuristic: Rhyme as reason in aphorism interpretation". Poetics. 26 (4): 235–244. doi:10.1016/s0304-422x(99)00003-0.
  6. ^ Kahneman, Daniel (2011). Thinking, Fast and Slow. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.