Mental Shortcuts In Our Decision-Making

fat burger

Mental ‘ticks’.

Our brains are really into shortcuts, especially when it comes to making decisions like what to eat and whom to trust.

Subway displays and promotes detailed nutritional information. This is to their credit and for this they wear a ‘health halo.’ A study by Brian Wansink assessed the recall of Subway customers versus McDonalds customers on nutritional information and their perceptions of how much they’d eaten, then compared their perception to how much they’d actually eaten.

3x as many Subway customers recalled seeing nutritional information but only a tiny fraction could recall specifics. All they remembered was that Subway displayed it. People tend to remember and perceive such things as black and white. It’s either healthy or it is not. Our brains aren’t into ‘less bad’: Subway’s display of nutritional information gives them a psychic tick and once there, most people order whatever they want cart blanche because ‘everything’ gets the mental tick.

Tom Hanks has done some lame movies but I will watch every Tom Hanks movie.

At work, what shortcuts do you or your people have that enable tick-shortcuts in their decisions? How valid are they? Even if they were once on-point, are they still? How defensible are they?

Learn more at

About Terry Williams - The Brain-Based Boss

I'm all about engaging people and helping you engage yours to influence behaviour to improve results - at work and at home. Maybe you're a manager, a salesperson, a leader, a parent, a presenter or an event organiser? You need to grab your people's attention, create some rapport, be memorable and influence behaviour change. How can we do that? I'm originally a trainer by trade, turned manager, turned comedian and partway back again. Author of 'THE GUIDE: How to kiss, get a job & other stuff you need to know', I write and speak about how to engage people, be they employees, family or yourself. How can we connect with people’s own internal motivations and help them use their own inner passions to drive towards productivity, success and happiness? And hopefully have a few laughs along the way... As a trainer facilitating learning and development in others, I find myself drawing on my own extensive business experience. I specialise in the delivery of high impact, customised training solutions for organisations that are serious about improving the performance and lives of their people.

Posted on November 23, 2020, in Employee Engagement. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: