Do humans really want to choose ?
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
05-04-2015, 04:14 PM
Do humans really want to choose ?
For the last months I've been particularly interested in consumer behavior. Why do people prefer one brand over the other even if it's not objectively superior ? Is this behavior in any way related with the human predisposition to believe in religion and follow its rituals ?

Once someone told me that one of the most common mistakes real estate agents do is giving too many choices to their clients. Old school software developers are learning now that the receipt that worked with the nerds of the 80 ' s and 90 ' s (giving them choices and customization) do not work with the masses. Software is now getting simpler, with less choices and customization. That's why options are sometimes hidden by default, in an effort to appeal to the masses and not loose the interest of enthusiasts. That is, most people do not want choices, they just want to choose who choose for them.

Today I caught myself thinking about religious rituals and how they are still followed by most people. Most catholics, for example, have sex before marriage, many don't marry and those that do get divorced after having two children with their first spouse. That is, most of them don't follow strictly the rules of the religion (they follow the rule of two children though). However, most of them visit their families in easter and Christmas, baptize their children and marry in the church. Off course, they comply with these rituals because it is what society expects from them. But couldn't be the case that these rituals give them comfort and a sense of security ? They provide a road map that reduces the necessity and the anxiety to choose ?!
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes brunogoncalves's post
05-04-2015, 04:24 PM
RE: Do humans really want to choose ?
(05-04-2015 04:14 PM)brunogoncalves Wrote:  For the last months I've been particularly interested in consumer behavior. Why do people prefer one brand over the other even if it's not objectively superior ? Is this behavior in any way related with the human predisposition to believe in religion and follow its rituals ?

I don't see the link between the two. And to answer your first question: I choose a certain brand of beer, or even a certain type of beer (that includes many brands) that I consider to be superior, yes, but that's my personal taste.

If we're talking about choosing a certain brand because there are objective factors (no toxic materials, produced respecting workers, etc), then there is an objective reason.

But I still fail to see the link with believing in a certain religion.

(05-04-2015 04:14 PM)brunogoncalves Wrote:  Once someone told me that one of the most common mistakes real estate agents do is giving too many choices to their clients. Old school software developers are learning now that the receipt that worked with the nerds of the 80 ' s and 90 ' s (giving them choices and customization) do not work with the masses. Software is now getting simpler, with less choices and customization. That's why options are sometimes hidden by default, in an effort to appeal to the masses and not loose the interest of enthusiasts. That is, most people do not want choices, they just want to choose who choose for them.

It depends on the software. Just the other day I found about a new software released this year: it's totally customizable. Like literally everything. There are other softwares that are less customisable but still have a good degree of personalisation. We would need to mention specific cases though.

(05-04-2015 04:14 PM)brunogoncalves Wrote:  Today I caught myself thinking about religious rituals and how they are still followed by most people. Most catholics, for example, have sex before marriage, many don't marry and those that do get divorced after having two children with their first spouse. That is, most of them don't follow strictly the rules of the religion (they follow the rule of two children though). However, most of them visit their families in easter and Christmas, baptize their children and marry in the church. Off course, they comply with these rituals because it is what society expects from them. But couldn't be the case that these rituals give them comfort and a sense of security ? They provide a road map that reduces the necessity and the anxiety to choose ?!

What is the rule of two children? Never heard of it (really). Catholics, as any religious group, acts in a certain way and follow certain rituals because usually they believe in them. Many just do these things for cultural reasons or because of their upbringing or just as a "face". But this can be applied to many other practices and actions, even non-religious ones.

孤独 - The Out Crowd
Life is a flash of light between two eternities of darkness.
[Image: Schermata%202014-10-24%20alle%2012.39.01.png]
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
05-04-2015, 05:03 PM
RE: Do humans really want to choose ?
I think what you say may apply to a lot of consumers.
Status, concern for others,herd instinct, and even snobbery are areas pushed by advertising and PR people.

To use a rather morbid example: the funeral industry plays a lot on guilt IMO in terms of super luxurious funerals to honour the deceased. This really seems a bit late to me.
I have also noticed concern for the environment, cardboard burial boxes etc.
This would be OK, except they seem to charge as much. It has always seemed ridiculous to me to see people pay mega bucks for a coffin which is then burnt.

On a brighter note, the huge amounts paid by some for wine and spirits makes me laugh, though of course my tongue has never been all that delicate.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
05-04-2015, 07:12 PM
RE: Do humans really want to choose ?
We are condemned to have to choose in our lives and that leads to a great deal of various deep feelings of anxiety (in several ways) for people. Having some rituals and beliefs that settle ideas can help plenty of people settle that sense for them.

"Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see" - Neil Degrasse Tyson
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
05-04-2015, 07:40 PM (This post was last modified: 05-04-2015 07:43 PM by yakherder.)
RE: Do humans really want to choose ?
Free will is largely an illusion when you take into consideration the reality of how we operate. Every decision we make, and the action we take as a result of that decision, is the end result of a series of biochemical reactions. It only seems like a choice because we weren't able to predict the end result. It is, however, no less mechanical than any computer.

But, to answer the question (kind of), we want to believe we make our own choices because it gives us a sense of control which is, by the way, a very real adaptive advantage.

Take into consideration the experiment with the rats that were lead to believe they could hit a button and avoid an electric shock. Even though they were manipulated into this assumption and the button in fact had no control, they still lived longer healthier lives than the rats with no buttons. A perceived element of control creates a stress reducing affect and allows us to move forward with more conviction.

Religion serves much the same purpose as the above mentioned button. Praying or sacrificing your prized virgin goat into a volcano might not have any external effect, but if you believe it does it might just keep you from going insane in this chronically hostile world.

'Murican Canadian
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes yakherder's post
05-04-2015, 09:03 PM
RE: Do humans really want to choose ?
(05-04-2015 04:14 PM)brunogoncalves Wrote:  -----
Most catholics, for example, have sex before marriage, many don't marry and those that do get divorced after having two children with their first spouse. That is, most of them don't follow strictly the rules of the religion (they follow the rule of two children though). However, most of them visit their families in easter and Christmas, baptize their children and marry in the church. Off course, they comply with these rituals because it is what society expects from them.
----

Interesting thoughts, but ...

Most catholics? Really? I would want to see some stats on that before accepting that kind of blanket statement.

Please elaborate on this, "rule of two children" ... to what does this refer?

A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
06-04-2015, 11:22 AM
Do humans really want to choose ?
The rule of two children is not literally a rule but a "habit" that most couples follow.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
06-04-2015, 11:57 AM
RE: Do humans really want to choose ?
(06-04-2015 11:22 AM)brunogoncalves Wrote:  The rule of two children is not literally a rule but a "habit" that most couples follow.

Most? Please show this as the majority of people in the world have way more than 2 children. Or are you only speaking of the classic WASP American?

(31-07-2014 04:37 PM)Luminon Wrote:  America is full of guns, but they're useless, because nobody has the courage to shoot an IRS agent in self-defense
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
07-04-2015, 04:54 AM
RE: Do humans really want to choose ?
(06-04-2015 11:57 AM)Revenant77x Wrote:  
(06-04-2015 11:22 AM)brunogoncalves Wrote:  The rule of two children is not literally a rule but a "habit" that most couples follow.

Most? Please show this as the majority of people in the world have way more than 2 children. Or are you only speaking of the classic WASP American?

https://www.census.gov/hhes/families/fil...s/FM-3.pdf


Average children for a married couple is just below 2, however even single parent households fall between 2 and 1.5 children.

[Image: E3WvRwZ.gif]
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
07-04-2015, 06:08 AM
RE: Do humans really want to choose ?
It's simple, we are pattern seeking creatures. We settle into patterns - we create daily routines, we are "creatures of habit".

On that level, you can include religion. It is one of the things that are handed to us - things that were patterns when we grew up feel safe and comfy.

Patterns make us feel safe. Everything is going as anticipated, everything is familiar. Some of us will just grab the pampers because xyz brand is unfamiliar and untrusted. Others will have developed a different routine for choosing - like reading labels, buying the brand that has the most recycled materials or what have you. This, too, becomes a pattern. We have learned something that causes us to change the pampers routine to a label reading routine.

Even choosing variety is a pattern. I like Hefeweizen beer, and I will choose it every time unless there is a new beer, then I want to try that. Even that is a pattern.

Think about it, your patterns start every day as you get out of bed. What you do first, how you pick your clothes, how you put them on, what you have for breakfast, patterns, patterns, patterns.

When you get stuck in patterns you don't actually like, you get unhappy or bored. When that occurs, changing the patterns becomes a huge task - just look in the personal support section here - people are distinctly unhappy with their lives, but unable to change the patterns.

We are addicted to patterns, and addictions themselves are rooted in patterns. When you change, you don't really break out and do different things all the time - you just alter a pattern and live the new version.

Advertising is built on this - he who exposes you to the new brand the most frequently has the biggest chance of being integrated in your patterns. They want the new brand to become a part of your life, and the best way to make it so is to make it something that moves through your brain frequently, establishing a feeling of safety, trust and yes, the old pattern.

Most decisions will be based on the chemical balance in your body ( I need adrenalin to be stimulated and choose risk taking, the next guy needs dopamine and chooses pot) Then there is emotional balance (yes even you folks who think you are not emotional are guided by emotions, they are our DNA influencing decisions, making you feel good or bad about certain things without your knowing why). There are a myriad of things dictating your "choices".

But, yes, you do have a little wriggle room to alter your choice patterns, a small space to apply real time learning. But for the most part, choice is an illusion. The fact that all your choices are unique to you allows you to believe in that illusion.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: