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Why even smart people are advertising and how to protect themselves

Our mind has its own principles of work, formed in the process of evolution. And marketers use them to the fullest.

Armed with advertisers hundreds of tricks based on the characteristics of our mind. We understand what cognitive biases are often used in sales, and tell you how to deal with them.

What makes us advertise

The effect of acquaintance with the object

It would seem that the constant repetitions of the same commercials cause only annoyance. But it’s not really important whether you like the advertisement or not: it still affects you.

And the effect is to blame dating service - a psychological phenomenon, because of which people prefer something simply because they already know it well. The effect works with words, pictures, images, sounds. Even people seem prettier to us if we are familiar with them.

This effect is constantly used in marketing. We get used to the products, and they automatically seem to us better without any objective assessment and comparison with others.

In addition, the illusion of truth is included in the case, and you not only unconsciously grab a familiar product from the shelf, but also begin to believe - and sometimes prove to others - that it is really better.

The illusion of truth

When people decide whether or not they were told the truth, they rely on two things: does this coincide with their existing beliefs and does it sound familiar.

The brain does not like to waste time analyzing information, because it requires considerable resources. Familiar incentives are processed quickly, and information is easily retrieved from memory - it’s a sin not to use it.

If a person hears the old false information, and at the same time its source does not remember, due to acquaintance, it seems to him to be true.

What, the brain only works on 10%? Yes, yes, I heard something about it. Probably the way it is.

You will not look for studies proving that these painkillers are really effective, because you have heard a hundred times in advertisements that they will save you from torment. This seems obvious. Moreover, not only to you, but to all other people, and this only strengthens you in your opinion.

Intra-group distortion

In the process of evolution, the human brain was formed to adapt to the complex social structure of the group. In the days of distant ancestors, unification meant surviving, being alone - dying of hunger, predators or enemies.

Therefore, we adore creating communities, dividing people into categories and feeling community with a specific group. And to consider "their" people a priori better than others and take pride in belonging to the community. This is called intra-group distortion.

Фото: Depositphotos

In marketing, it manifests itself in the form of creating a cohesive community of users. There are many examples: Nike's Run Club, in which people from all over the city gather to run together, the Harley Owners Group with group motor rallies and club attributes, CrossFit with its close-knit crossfit boxes and spectacular games, where absolutely all athletes go to Reebok.

Each regional fitness room is trying to create its own community, and people are not just being run, but they are doing it with joy. Who cares how much money you spend on expensive sportswear if you feel like a member of the community?

Fear of loss

If you lose your wallet, you will drop the level of dopamine - a neurotransmitter that provides a feeling of pleasure. You will be sad and offended. If you suddenly find a wallet with the same amount, the dopamine level will increase, but not so hard, as I would have fallen in case of loss.

Losses bring us much more grief than gain - joy.

To exploit this weakness in marketing, manufacturers impose trial patterns and free use periods. Until you consider your thing yours, you can doubtlessly doubt whether it is worth the money. But as soon as it has become yours, even on a loan or for a short period of time, the fear of loss will force you to make money without hesitation.

Compromise effect

In one experiment, people were asked to choose from two cameras with different prices: for 170 dollars or for 240. Preferences were divided equally: some chose cheaper, others more expensive.

Then the researchers added a third camera - for 470 dollars. This time, most people chose the "middle peasant" for 240. This feature is called the effect. compromise - the tendency to choose something in between.

This effect is manifested in any situations where you need to choose between three options that sound about the same, and you do not have time or the desire to dive into the details.

Sometimes manufacturers intentionally add a third, unreasonably expensive version to make you buy "something in between." As a result, you get a more expensive product, but at the same time rejoice that you did not spend too much.

The effect of framing

In another experiment people were asked to introduce an epidemic and choose a program to save citizens. In the first case, they were offered the following options:

  • Program A will save 200 people (200 will be saved, 400 will die).
  • Program B with a one-third probability will help 600 people survive, and with a two-third probability it will not save anyone at all (1 / 3 - 600 people will be saved, 2 / 3 - 600 will die).

72% of participants chose program A. Then the same question was asked in a different wording:

  • With program C, 400 people will surely die (again, 200 will be saved, 400 will die).
  • Program D with a probability of one third will save absolutely everyone, and two-thirds will kill 600 people (and again 1 / 3 - 600 will be saved, 2 / 3 - 600 will die).

Now 78% chose program D, although the essence was the same, only the wording changed. This perception phenomenon is called the “framing effect,” and it is commonly used in marketing.

For example, if a manufacturer wants to serve his cookies as a healthy product, he can write on the package: “with whole grains” or “without GMOs”. In this case, the cookies will have 500 kcal per 100 g, a lot of sugar and fat.

Moreover, the presentation will force you not only to choose a product, but also to perceive it better.

In another experiment the participants were given a try of beef. One was labeled “75% pure meat,” the other “25% fat.” The same meat, the same essence of the descriptions, but the first liked people more and seemed less greasy to them.

The effect of serial arrangement

This effect is associated with the characteristics of human memory. If you list any data with a list, a person better remembers the information submitted by the first (primary effect) and the last (recent effect).

This feature is used in advertising to emphasize any product qualities. The most significant benefits will be named first or last. What was in the middle, you will not remember.

The same effect makes us prefer the first products on the list. 2007 study of the year showed that users at 2,5 times more often buy the first product in the list, even if all options have different characteristics.

The primary effect is often combined with the effect of the anchor. This is when you get a piece of information, and evaluate all subsequent data, starting from the first information. In the list of products on the site or even in the restaurant menu, the most expensive products are located first. And even if you do not buy them, the rest of the products will seem quite affordable to you compared to the first positions.

Drowned Cost Trap

Drowned Trap Costs makes people support decadent projects for years. A person cannot afford to admit the matter is a failure, because so much effort has been put into it. To agree with this means to get too much emotional pain from wasted time and resources. It turns out that we must continue. No matter what.

It's a damn bad thing, but marketers have found how to use it for the benefit of sales.

Firstly, in order to reliably tie the buyer, they periodically show him how much he has already spent on the purchase of goods or services of the company.

Secondly, they issue cards with a free 10 or 20 visit, a glass of coffee or some other bonus. Most likely, you will not change the coffee house if there are several marks in the loyalty card left before the free glass, even if you find another restaurant where coffee is cheaper and tastier. It’s not for nothing that you bought those five glasses!

Hyperbolic depreciation

This is when you are ready to receive 100 rubles right now, not 200, but in a week. And this is not a weakness of character or infantility. Our brain is aimed precisely at such a development of events.

Фото: Depositphotos

This can be explained in terms of survival. If an ancient man saw an antelope, he immediately killed it and ate, and did not let the animal pass, expecting something fatter. In matters of survival, expectation often meant starvation, which was entrenched in our nature.

Home a task human brain - increase the level of reward. And he prefers to do it right now, and not sometime later. Moreover, it does this automatically, so that you do not think about the reasons and just want to. Right now.

The last phrase often flashes in advertising messages: "improve your life right now", "buy and receive a gift right now."

For expensive purchases, sellers can use the “take it now, pay later” scheme. For example, a loan or installment plan without first payment, which gives you immediate pleasure from the purchase. And no suffering from losing money.

Psychologically agreeing to such conditions is much easier than immediately putting your money out. Therefore, the choice will be less deliberate.

How not to fall into the trap of advertising

Any cognitive traps work great when you don’t have the time or desire to analyze the seller’s offer. Use some simple tips to overcome this.

  1. Do not make purchases in a rush. Before you buy something, especially if the item is expensive, do a little research. Recalculate the price of the product by the number of grams, and the price of the service by the number of days, compare the characteristics of smartphones and the composition of the fabric, read the composition of products and cosmetics.
  2. Do not trust intuition, doubt everything. Intuition is a part of your subconscious mind in which the slogans from advertisements and the opinion of Aunt Masha from a neighboring entrance lie in even rows. Ask yourself, how do you know this product is better?
  3. Remember that you earned this money. Calculate how many hours you spent to get money for this thing. And only then decide if it is worth it.
  4. Think what you are buying: thing, status, sense of community, the feeling that you are free, wealthy and worthy of it? And remember that most purchases will not change your life, even if advertising proves otherwise.

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