Analogies, and Stories
When Jaws (the film starring a man-eating shark) opened at cinemas across the United States, the number of swimmers visiting California beaches dropped dramatically. Sharks do inhabit the California coast, but the risk of a swimmer actually being attacked by a shark is much less than the risk of being killed in a car accident while driving there.1
People are often not influenced by the true facts of a situation; more often, they are influenced by what makes the most vivid impression on their mind.
To demonstrate how vivid words and images play in our mind, slowly read the following description of cutting a lemon:
Imagine you are in the kitchen. You pick up a large, fresh, succulent lemon from the fruit bowl. It is cool in your hand. The yellow dimpled skin feels smooth and waxy. It comes to a small, green, conical point at either end. The lemon is firm and quite heavy for its size as you look at it in the palm of your hand.