How Our Emotions May Lead To Irrational Money Decisions

As consumers, emotions drive our decisions. Neuroscientists tell us that we make our decisions emotionally and intuitively nearly 95% of the time.

The forces of marketers and our biases make it almost inevitable that we make irrational money decisions. Marketers embrace unreasonable customers because that is part of their primary goal.

Their marching orders are to attract and retain profitable customer relationships. Our biases keep them busy as they collect big data about us, our purchases, and how we spend.

Let me just say that marketers are not bad people and consumers aren’t defenseless. We are bombarded daily by an average of 1,500 ads or brand messages, but we don’t pay it any attention.

Marketing Tactics Can Be Harmful To Our Perceptions

A famous psychology experiment in a 1999 study by Daniel Simons and Chris Chabris that tested selective attention about a gorilla, better visualized here, makes the point about selective attention.

The Invisible Gorilla Experiment

– Americans use 4,416,720 GB of Internet data. – There are 188 million emails sent and 18,100,000 texts sent. – Consumers spend $1 million online. – Nearly $240,000 worth of transactions occur on Venmo. – 390,030 apps loaded. – YouTube users watch 4.5 million videos. – Giphy serves 4.8 million gifs. Big Data enables marketers to access:

A Sampling of Statistics Per Minute:

They use manipulative and subliminal messages convincing us to buy products we may not need. Often prices even on sale days like “Black Friday” are still higher than before, but they use eye-catching “50% off” signs.

How They Can Manipulate Shoppers

Marketers use expert opinions to convince consumers of the safety of their products. I recall my Dad, a heavy Camel smoker, telling me that doctors endorsed smoking when he began this bad habit and many people fell for the ad.

Expert Endorsements

Swipe Up For More!