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'Latest online Persuasion Techniques'

Loss Aversion

“We strongly prefer to avoid losses over acquiring gains.”
Imagine you loose $100 and I happen to be the lucky guy finding it. Loss aversion tells us that – unfortunately – you became more unhappy than that I became happier… Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman and his late friend Amos Tversky discovered that losses are roughly twice as powerful, psychologically, as gains.

Therefore: phrasing the same outcomes as though it’s a loss can have a bigger impact than phrasing the same outcome as a gain.

But there’s more magic to the loss aversion effect. The Prospect Theory of Kahneman and Tversky explains that

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Mental Accounting

“We assign money to ‘mental categories’, and we spend money according to these categories.”
We find it too difficult to think about every possible alternative purchase, when making a purchase decision. This effect is called ‘Opportunity Cost Neglect’. Rationally, we should consider the fungibility of all our expenditures. But we don’t.

Instead we assign money to specific categories – known as mental accounts. Both the sources and uses of money are labeled according to these categories (housing, holidays, food, etc.). Some categories are broad, others are narrow. Some cover years, others only a short time. Balancing of these accounts happens daily for

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Context Dependent Memory

“We tend to forget things when we’re out of context.”
Do you recognize the following situation? You enter your basement, but instantly forget why you went there. You walk back, and as soon as you enter the kitchen you go “Oh, I remember, I went to get the juicer!” That’s cue dependent forgetting and remembering; it is our tendency to forget things which are out of context, and to recall information more easily when the original contextual cues are present (the cues that were also present when we learned it).

Take for example retargeting: someone visited your website and looked at a

Self-generation affect effect

“If we figured it out ourselves, we like it better”
The self-generation affect effect (or the ‘not invented here – bias’ as people like Dan Ariely phrase it) is the cognitive version of the physical labor-love effect. Not only does physical effort increase liking, it works just as fine for cognitive effort… We tend to like ideas and information better if it is generated by our own mind (instead of ideas that we read or hear from someone else). Even if people invest just a small amount of cognitive energy in an idea or solution, they like it much more

Hyperbolic Discounting

“We show a preference for rewards that arrive sooner rather than later”
When we consider a choice between two rewards, we tend to prefer the readily available one. We have a stronger preference for more immediate payoffs relative to later payoffs. In other words: the current is incredibly more powerful than the future. Imagine we can choose between one candy bar right now, or two in a month time. We might prefer the readily available candy bar (instead of waiting a month for an extra bar). However, if we have to wait 12 months to get one candy bar, and

Affect Heuristic

“We decide differently depending on our emotional state”
The way we feel influences our decisions and their outcomes. When we are happy – for example – we are more likely to try new things. But if we are worried, we tend to make more conservative choices. Therefor our emotional response to a website, app or Facebook page alters our judgment.

Because of this dependence on our emotional state, we make different decisions based on the same set of facts. Overall, this – so called – affect heuristic is of influence in nearly every decision-making arena.

The affect heuristic is typically used while

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Facial distraction

“We can’t resist looking at faces”
When we (subconsciously) notice faces in our surroundings, we tend to first scan those faces (as shown in the picture), before looking at anything else.

Moreover, we cognitively process those faces thoroughly. Facial recognition is distinct from object recognition in terms of visual processing. There are distinctly separate parts of our brain involved (the so-called Fusiform Face Areas), and – more importantly – our brain puts a lots of complex processing in analyzing faces. Note: some visual processing of complex non-face shapes happen in this area as well.

So faces take a huge amount of cognitive

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