Cialdini (2001) provides many compelling insights into how choices are influenced. Even though marketers are barred from outright deception, you can still find examples of information or promotions designed to lead customers in a direction that may not be in their rational best interest.
Some theorists suggest that rationality only plays a part in one’s decision toolkit. Outside influences (one such example is authority figures hawking goods or services) bear upon the choices you make. It is a susceptibility to these outside pressures and social constructs that may lead you, as a decision maker, away from well-reasoned optimization. The ability to manipulate an individual along these lines leads to the use of nonrational techniques, which are recognizable in the marketing efforts that can inundate your life.
Review the article “Harnessing the Science of Persuasion” by R. B. Cialdini (2001)
Consider Cialdini’s insights on nonrational techniques.
Respond to the following:
1. Consider the last two major purchases you made, and list the techniques that may have swayed your choices.
2. Examine what you would do in the future to avoid these psychological pitfalls.