The links between buyer behavior and psychology are well talked about and well-practiced, it’s the reason why companies like Coca-Cola stay afloat in a dying industry. Companies invest money, time, data, and focused thought into how to get you to buy their product, none of it is left to chance – every billboard advertisement, television commercial and celebrity endorsement is a deliberate appeal to your psyche.
Being almost ‘brainwashed’ into liking a certain brand of soda or one brand of sneakers is one thing, but ever get the feeling you’ve been tricked into buying something? Ever walk away from a sale with buyer’s remorse, tormenting yourself with questions like “Why did I spend so much?” “Did I choose the right thing?” “How did I let the sales guy talk me into this?”
Apparently, chances are you have and you’re the victim of a capitalist economy.
Companies Taking Advantage of Consumers
In their new book “Phishing for Phools: The Economics of Manipulation and Deception”, Nobel laureates in economics George A. Akerlof and Robert J. Shiller explore the theory that the free market is laced with deception, manipulating consumers into spending more on purchases they don’t want.
“Phishing” is when a company exploits weaknesses in customers in order to trick them into buying goods or services which they don’t need or could even potentially be harmful or unhealthy. Those who fall for phishing schemes are “phools”.
The book exposes how free markets can provide crooked businesses the opportunities to make profit from consumers through trickery, a practice which has been rife since the Great Recession in 2008.
Be Smart and Save Your Money!
Seven years on from the turmoil, and while the economy may be rebounding, our bank accounts haven’t quite recovered from the crash. In fact, the sad reality is that Americans simply can’t afford to spend money on things they don’t need. A recent study conducted by Go Banking Rates has shown that a large number of Americans have under $1,000 in their savings account. At least 62 percent or one in five Americans have some savings, while 21 percent said that they don’t have any savings at all.
So how can you avoid the trickery and adopt better spending and saving habits? Educate yourself on the power of persuasion, of course!
This post How to Plant Ideas in Someone’s Mind, by Adam Dachis takes a look at some of the ways we are talked into things. From the tactics of reverse psychology to talking around the idea, to underselling, these techniques can be used to instill doubt, or even make someone feel like a decision or idea which has been intentionally planted in their mind is completely of their own. It’s very clever, and quite evil, but effective in the art of persuasion, learn more about it here.