Writing & Editing 8 successful headlines—and the psychology behind them Have you ever wondered why how-to or numbered-list headlines get so many clicks? Here’s your answer. By Courtney SeiterMay 6, 2014 SHARE Ragan Insider Premium Content Untitled Document I recently dug into research about headlines to prepare for a webinar on the science of writing must-click headlines on social media. I found plenty of data about which words are in the most-shared headlines, how long headlines should be, and more.What was especially interesting were the psychology behind some well-known headline formulas and what makes them so clickable. Here’s an overview of eight winning headline formulas and the psychology behind them:1. Surprise To read the full story, log in. Become a Ragan Insider member to read this article and all other archived content. Sign up today Already a member? Log in here. Learn more about Ragan Insider.