menu

What Drives Us To Buy?

What Drives Us To Buy?
Advertising

PsyBlog identifies some of the cognitive biases that predispose us to shop, consume, purchase and buy - with implications for both those that want to do less buying of their own, and for those that want to persuade others to buy more.

Paloma M. Vazquez
  • 5 april 2011

Why do we consume, shop, buy or purchase? The answer to this question of course bears implications for at least two sides: those who want to spend less can control it through an understanding of what drives them to do it, while those that want to do persuade others to do more of it can benefit from the same understanding. To that end, we found a post at PsyBlog on’10 cognitive biases that drive us to buy interesting. For the sake of brevity, we’ve summarized these cognitive predispositions below. You can decide whether to use them to convince yourself not to buy – or to persuade others to purchase.

Status Quo Bias: We stick to what we know – even though there are better options.

Post-Purchase Rationalization: Once we’ve made a decision, we convince ourselves it was the right one – and may attribute more value to it than it deserves.

The Relativity Trap: Price is always relative to what it’s compared to; restaurants, electronics & apparel retailers in particular realize this when they structure and organize their menu or portfolio of related offerings. Because a $400 pair of shoes may feel like a ‘bargain’ when up against a $1,000 pair, impartial price comparison sites are recommended. Also, compare across categories – what else could the $400 get you in terms of travel, dining out, or charity?

Ownership Effect: We value things more when we own them. This effect is visible when we bid on eBay, and feel attachment even before we actually buy an item, sometimes ultimately bidding above market value. So what’s one to do? Set limits (researched limits) – and stick to them.

Present Bias: Human nature prefers our pleasures now and our pains for later. So we’ll easily buy if they offer us 20% off now, or buy now & pay later. Not always wise if you think of how you’ll feel about that purchase 3 days, or 3 weeks from now. Smart, or regretful?

Fear of Loss: Even when something is losing value, we oftentimes don’t want to give it up before we lose further. Like a motorcycle or real estate – if it’s costing more to keep than to sell, you may be better off with the short-term loss.

Familiarity Bias: Much like the status quo bias (we’re not sure we understand the difference), we oftentimes buy what we’re comfortable with and feel we know – even if newer entrants can often a better (but less known) solution.

Rosy Retrospection: We have a tendency to make our past decisions feel better than what they actually were. Question your past decisions – there may be a better way to go about (and purchase) things.

Free: Are you exchanging something in return for that ‘free’ item? If you’re paying in order to tap into that ‘free’ offer, it’s definitely costlier than the promotional offer would imply.

Restraint Bias:  We’re simply not wired to excel at restraint. We tend to go overboard on the good stuff. Recognize this; so if you have to cut yourself off – do.

PsyBlog: “Why We Buy – How to Avoid 10 Costly Cognitive Biases”

Advertising
Trending

Lancôme's Newest Campaign Stars A Domestic Abuse Survivor

Advertising
Arts & Culture Yesterday

Small Urban Pavilions Create A Nature Refuge In East London

These relaxing micro shelters provide a haven amidst chaotic city environments

Travel Yesterday

Travel Laundry Pouch Washes Your Clothes Wherever You Are

The Scrubba Wash Bag helps anyone wash their clothes easily and quickly with just a little water and soap

Trending

Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Social Media Yesterday

Swipe Up To Register To Vote On Snapchat

The social platform has partnered with TurboVote to help young people easily enroll in less than one minute

Children Yesterday

Battle Card Game Promotes Childhood Vaccinations

An Australian doctor has developed a playful way to inform parents about immunization and entertain kids

Fitness / Sport Yesterday

Oakley And Intel’s Sunglasses Give You A Built-In Personal Trainer Wherever You Go

The sunglasses/earbuds hybrid tracks your performance and lets you know how well your workouts are going

Experiential Marketing Yesterday

UNICEF’s ‘Time Machine’ Tells Stories With Data

An experiential installation at the UN General Assembly reminds us why every child matters

Design & Architecture Yesterday

Watch The World’s Tallest Building Become An LED Display

Burj Khalifa gives a backstage look at how the transformation came to be

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Automotive
Scenarios Driving The Digital Transformation Of An Industry
NEW

PSFK Op-Ed Yesterday

Modern Workplace Culture: No More Fat Cats Or Kissing Ass

Samar Birwadker, CEO & Co-Founder of Good & Co, on designing shared organizational values to optimize employee happiness and success

PSFK Labs september 22, 2016

The Future Of Work: Why Innovation Is Every Employee’s Job

PSFK Labs sits down with management at Johnson & Johnson to learn how the company comes up with their next ‘big idea’

Travel Yesterday

Boeing Wants To Make Your Flight Better With Cloud And Star Projections

The manufacturer is trying to patent a projection system that would allow them to project images onto a plane's interior surfaces

Latin America Yesterday

Colombians Teach Dance To Fund Students’ Education

Chocó to Dance is a platform that shows you how to replicate popular Latin dances to help create scholarships for local students

Work Yesterday

Editorial Roundtable: What A People-First Workplace Must Prioritize First

Managed By Q, Soma, Workbar, Primary, AltSchool and thinkPARALLAX on why employee fulfillment is a journey and not a destination

Culture Yesterday

Brand Engagement At The Gates Of The World’s Largest Open-Air Gallery

Tiger Beer and a neighborhood-minded nonprofit celebrate and promote New York's creative spirit by beautifying 100 security gates

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders
NEW

Technology Yesterday

How Technology Can Save The World By Saving Time

PSFK attends the Social Good Summit 2016 to see how new tech is changing the world for the better

Travel Yesterday

Marriott’s Gravity Room Installation Gives Travelers A New Perspective

The luxury hotel chain's #MGravityRoom invites visitors to snap and share pictures of its inverted set up

No search results found.