Decision Science

We use decision science to try to understand the human behaviour underlying consumer decisions. The average person makes 35,000 decisions each day. (226 of those on food alone!) Decision science asks:

How do people make decisions?
How can we influence peoples' decisions?
How can we scientifically solve decision problems?

Decades of research show that we easily fall victim to our default mental shortcuts (aka cognitive biases). We all have these hard-wired tendencies that can influence our decisions. At iSystematic, we develop software to spring these mental tripwires and sway your customers’ decisions.

Introducing

Optimism Bias

What is it?

When we overestimate the odds of our own success compared to other's.

Example:

In the Western world, divorce rates are about 40%. sk a newlywed about the odds of eventual divorce, they'll say 0%. Even divorce lawyers underestimate the number

Negative Bias

What is it?

Our thought processes and behaviours are liable to be influenced more by negative things than we do because of neutral or positive things. Basically, the bad stuff sticks.

Example:

In a relationship, it typically takes five good interactions to make up for a single bad one. Even animals have been shown to have negative bias (relationship status: unknown).

Confirmation Bias

What is it?

This describes our well-publicised tendency to focus on new information that confirms pre-existing beliefs and minimize anything that might challenge those beliefs. See: Facebook.

Example:

The most shareable, clickable and likable content on Facebook aligns strongly with its readership’s pre-existing biases, assumptions and political affiliation. We know that Six out of every 10 millennials (61%) get their political news on Facebook.

Sunk Cost Fallacy

What is it?

We are inclined to commit to something when we've already invested time or resources in it—even if the sensible decision is to give up on it.

Example:

Try every set-price hotel buffet breakfast where people overeat just to ‘get their money’s worth’. And indigestion.

Anchoring Effect

What is it?

We’re likely to favour the first information we come across, even when later information turns out to be more relevant or realistic.

Example:

A second-hand car dealer will show you the most expensive model first to set a high anchoring price baseline. When the dealer then presents you with a “cheaper” model, it seems like a bargain. You’d be a fool to pass on it, or would you?

IKEA Effect

What is it?

We tend to get attached to things when we were involved in creating them. Even that wonky coffee table.

Example:

People can get satisfaction from a process, like Build-a-Bear ( you assemble your own teddy bear) and “haycations” (vacations spent working on farms). Sometimes, we’ll even pay more for things we’re involved in building!

Goal Gradient

What is it?

We are more likely to we work harder to achieve our goals when they're most closely in sight.

Example:

In a real cafe reward program, customers were given a free coffee after ten purchases. Psychologists found that customers purchased coffee more often the closer they were to that free coffee. The moral: we are more motivated by how much is left to reach our target, not how far we have come.

Cognitive Miser

What is it?

We are prone to put the least amount of effort possible into problem-solving. Another way of putting it: Our brains are lazy.

Example:

We rarely give our full attention to new statements. Do you know how many animals did Moses take on the Ark? At the University of Southern California only around 12% of students got it right. (None. It was, of course, Noah’s Ark – not Moses’s.)

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