Alternative marketing thinking


How We Decide

Of the many things that marketers and advertising agencies worry about is how and why people buy what they buy. With all the new thinking happening in the area of neuroscience, there is a lot we can learn and try. Jonah Lehrer’s How We Decide is a new tome that tries to decode the decision making process of the brain. Cory Doctorow writing on BoingBoing calls the insights in the book mindblowing. In fact his log review of the book takes us through some of the key parts of the book and is worth reading until the book is available in India. The author has spent considerable time on what interests advertisers, the rational and emotional side of decision making, and the findings are interesting. One surprising and compelling conclusion is that people who experience damage to the parts of their brain responsible for emotional reactions are unable to decide, because their rational mind dithers endlessly over the possible rational reasons for each course of action. Overly emotional decisions on the other hand are also likely to lead us into trouble. There is clearly a sweet-spot between white-hot emotional thinking and ice-cold reason. There are many interesting sections in the book that Cory’s review takes us through, like how using credit cards shortcircuit the feeling of loss aversion in the brain, when compared to paying in cash. "Credit-cards…anaesthetize your brain against the pain of payment." More in this review


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