Behavioral Science Series No. 1: Human Behavior and Decision Making

Can people truly know and articulate their motivations behind their choices?

Imagine this scenario: you want to purchase a home, you tell your real estate agent what you're looking for, a large three-bedroom, two-bathroom, bright home with a good-sized yard in a good neighborhood. This totally fits with preconceived notions of what a perfect house should be. So, your agent finds a home with these features but expects you to purchase it sight-un-seen. Sounds ridiculous, right?

This is not so far off what some marketers do. They ask consumers what they want, take their answer at face value, and then extensively base their entire marketing strategy on these so-called “insights.”

Behavioral Sciences have taught us that there are two major flaws with this approach. First, we're assuming that people can truly know and articulate the true motivations behind their choices. And second, that we should execute a strategy without testing it in the context in which we would expect it to work.

To learn more about how Behavioral Science can help your marketing practices, read Behavioral Science, No. 2: Applying Behavioral Economics to Marketing.

(Photo by Victoriano Izquierdo on Unsplash)

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