A show all about you…
Why do we still have a headache after taking a 1p aspirin which disappears when we take a 50p one? And why are we attracted to a 2for1 meal discount but fail to save for a pension? Most of the time we think we’re making rational decisions. But are we really?
Don’t miss this entertaining mix of stand-up and neuroscience, as award-winning, five-star author Bernard Ross challenges your assumptions about just how smart you are and explains the rules you follow to make predictable mistakes.
Whether you’re buying wine or trying to lose weight, shopping for food or dating, you overpay, underestimate and procrastinate. Be prepared to laugh and learn – while you learn to stop being predictably irrational.
Have you ever?
- Paid upfront for gym membership and then not gone?
- Not taken your medication as prescribed?
- Not paid off your credit card bill when you had the money?
- Drunk too much alcohol or eaten the “wrong” kinds of food when on a diet?
- Bought an electronic product and then not used all the features?
- Donated blood or made a donation to charity?
- Taken pleasure from giving a gift or helping a stranger?
What do you notice about the menu?
You may not have noticed but most chain restaurants now miss out the £$€ sign in menus. Why? Because neuroscience tells us that if you miss out the currency identifier on a price people spend as much as 20% more. The logic is that we then don’t think of it as money. We have mental budgets and business encourages us to not to think in those budgets. That encourages us to order more expensive items- and improve their profits!
How does Beyoncé help sell lemonade?
You might have thought the key message of Beyoncé’s 2016 album Lemonade was ‘be careful about relationships with another superstar.’ But for many people the answer was much simpler: buy lemonade. The CEO of Florida-based juice company Natalie’s Juices told The Huffington Post that sales of natural lemonade and lemonade tea doubled in the 6 months after the album was launched. Other businesses world-wide reported a similar lift. Simple unconscious awareness of a word can make us more likely to be aware of and purchase something.
How good a witness would you be?
In one classic experiment, different groups viewed a video of a car accident and then were questioned about what they had seen. Their answers varied depending on the way the questions were worded. When asked, ‘How fast were the cars going when they smashed into each other?’ the answer typically involved a higher rate of speed than when the question was, ‘How fast were the cars going when they bumped into each other?’ Words frame opinions and perceptions We need to make sure we pay close attention to how information is presented. Or we can misjudge things.
Read the sign again…does it really say what you think it does?
We don’t always pay attention to all the information we see very precisely. So we fill in bits that aren’t there or don’t fit with our expectations. This is our brain trying to sort information into patterns we recognise or that make sense. But it can lead to us making decisions without really paying attention. We need to make sure we pay close attention to information.
If a baseball and a bat cost $1.10 together, and the bat costs $1.00 more than the ball, how much does the ball cost?
Most people immediately think the answer is $1 and 10c. But it’s not. Take a minute to think about it. If the ball costs 10c and the bat is $1.00 more than the ball, then the bat would cost $1.10 i.e. a total of $1.20. The correct answer is the ball is 5c and the bat $1.05. Your brain uses is 2% of total weight but uses 20% of the energy. Result? Your brain uses ‘heuristics’ – fast mini rules to make decisions with minimum energy. But these decisions can be wrong.
Why was the Michelin Guide invented?
The French Michelin Brothers originally made tyres. But people weren’t using tyres enough to drive new sales. The brothers created their famous Michelin Guide with restaurants throughout France to encourage people to drive there, and so wear out their existing tyres. Businesses often encourage us to buy or use their products using indirect methods. Watch out for the indirect sale!