Mental Shortcuts In Our Decision-Making
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?
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