What is it about lists that we find so irresistible? As far as I can tell, no one has tried to figure it out (though it’s possible there are psychologists who have solved the mystery, and I just haven’t seen their work). Maybe it has to do with the promise of something both finite and complete, distilling the world down to something you can manage and then be done with. The world is full of photos of cute corgis, but these 37 are the cutest, and once you’ve seen them not only will your day be a little sweeter but you need search no more for cute corgi photos. It could also be the attraction of something easy to read—because it’s broken into small pieces, you know it won’t require too much work to read, you’ll be able to skim it easily, and if you want to read part of it and then stop, you’ll be able to.

What is it about lists that makes them so compelling?