In the previous post we matched headings to this text about human behaviour. Now see if you can match ideas to the owners of those ideas!
People are likely to believe what other people believe.
Official forms can make decisions for us.
We never make mistakes. Other people do.
Advertising tricks us into making decisions against our ‘will’!
People in ‘higher’ positions exploit people in ‘lower’ positions.
The first piece of information that we’re given is the most influential in our decision making.
“People often go to surprising lengths to conform to the majority opinion,” writes Quora user Leo Polovets, referring to an experiment conducted by psychologist Solomon Asch. Back in the 1950s, Asch designed an experiment in which participants saw three lines and were asked to say which one was longest. One line was clearly longer than the others. In each iteration of the experiment, just one participant was surrounded by a group of confederates, who all reported that one of the shorter lines was longest. Sure enough, three-quarters of participants agreed with the rest of the group at least once. In 2005, psychiatrist and neuroscientist Gregory Berns replicated the experiment and found similar results. Berns also scanned participants’ brains while the experiment was going on and determined that group pressure actually caused people to change their perception of reality, while disagreeing with the group caused people to experience emotional discomfort.
In countries where drivers’ licenses have an opt-out box for organ donation, the rate of consent is significantly higher than in countries where there’s an opt-in box, according to research. “Making a decision is difficult so often times people resort to the default option,” says Christopher Lee.
The “fundamental attribution error,” also known as the “correspondence bias,” explains our tendency to believe that other people’s mistakes are the result of personality flaws and our own mistakes are the result of circumstantial factors. So if someone bumps into you on the sidewalk, you assume he’s a jerk, rather than thinking he might be late to see his son’s school play. But if you bump into someone on the sidewalk, you know that you’re a nice person, but you’re in a rush to make it to a meeting. The phenomenon “is an elemental part of how we think and process information and experience our surroundings,” says James Em.
One Quora user highlights a 2014 study that found people prefer doing to thinking, even if what they are doing is so unpleasant that they would normally pay to avoid it.”
Paavni Shukla writes about the “decoy effect,” also known as the “asymmetric dominance effect,” first labeled by researchers in 1982. Behavioral economist Dan Ariely explains the phenomenon in one of his TED talks, using an old Economist advertisement as an example. The ad featured three subscription levels: $59 for online only, $159 for print only, and $159 for online and print. Ariely figured out that the option to pay $159 for print only exists so that it makes the option to pay $159 for online and print look more enticing than it would if it was just paired with the $59 option.
Kevin Coe spotlights a study that examines “power disinhibits more pernicious forms of aggression as well,” such as sexual harassment in cultures where women are subordinated and hate crimes against minority groups.
Tejasvita Apte provides a straightforward example of how the anchoring effect works. Imagine someone asking you whether Gandhi was older than 100 years old when he died; now imagine someone asking you whether Gandhi was younger than 20 years old when he died. If in both cases you tried to estimate how old Gandhi was when he died, those who had seen a higher listing price gave higher numbers. Interestingly, the real-estate agents were generally less sensitive than the undergrads to the fact that the listing price had influenced their estimates.
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