Living our lives, we make many decisions in the presence of others — ordering at a restaurant or going somewhere as part of a group.
Today, aside from being directly observed by people around us, the decisions we make are subject to more observation by technology, allowing firms not only to record and track but to analyse our behaviour and decision-making process.
Companies like Amazon and Netflix are utilising this type of analysis to provide you with “inspired by your purchases” or “inspired by your browsing/watching history.”
This piece is based on a recent series of studies
, where Yonat Zwebner, PhD and Rom Schrift, PhD compared consumers’ responses to observations of two stages in decision-making — pre-choice & purchase. What they found is that observation in the pre-choice stage triggered greater aversion than did observation in the purchase stage.
Observation of the pre-choice process changed consumers’ preferences in specific ways: to evade being observed in the preference-construction stage, consumers distorted their preferences. They behaved in a manner that enabled them to resolve the decision with as little conflict as possible — by choosing default options or making no purchase at all.
there’s more about decision-making, but a different kind, if you scroll down to today’s 🎧 section.