Why do people decide to take an action? Why do people decide to make a purchase? Why do they decide to purchase this thing versus that thing?Why do they make a decision right now instead of waiting to make a decision?
One of the first things I want to say about decisions is, that people make a decision when they are confident of the decision. The feeling of confidence is what will trigger them to then make the decision and take action by making a decision.
You choose what to have for lunch, which shirt to wear, and maybe even where to take your next vacation.
But how much of this decision-making process is rational and how fueled by emotions?
Behavioral science suggests it’s a lot more of the latter.
There are 4 Factors that Influence Decision Making
Psychologists understand four major mental processes that influence decisions:
Cognitive Biases – are a systematic error in thinking that effect the decision and judgments people make. Sometimes these biases are related to memory. Some of these include belief biases (the over dependence on prior knowledge in arriving at decisions), omission biases (people tend to omit information that’s perceive as risky), and confirmation bias (people observe what they expect in observations). We’ll cover biases in depth later in the program.
Memories – Past experiences can impact future decision making.
Studies have shown that when something positive results from a decision, people are more likely to decide in a similar way, given a similar situation. In contrast, people tend to avoid repeating past mistakes.
Reason – abductive reasoning is based on creating and testing hypotheses using the best information available. This kind of reasoning produces the kind of daily decision-making that works best with the information present, which often is incomplete
Emotions – Decisions are emotional. Neuroscientist Antonio Damasio made a discovery when he studied people with damage in the part of the brain where emotions were generated. He found that they seemed normal, with the exception of not being able to feel emotions. But they all had something peculiar in common: they couldn’t make decision. They could explain logic, but struggled when asked to make simple decisions, like what to eat. This is because decisions are based on emotion.
If you want people to take action in your app, you must evoke certain emotions first. Without emotions, there is no decision to be made whether or not to purchase YOUR product or your competitor’s'.
Emotions are best achieved with a pair of UX + Branding.
Mentioned Readings and Studies:
Weighing the Past and Future in Decision Making (Juliusson, Karlsson, Garling)- study indicating past decisions affect present ones