The SHIFT Quarterly Digest
In honour of completing 3 months of the SHIFT, here’s a roundup of the best from all 3 issues, all in one place.
We will continue to bring you the best of behaviour science and the ways in which it can help you and your business. To make behaviours SHIFTs, for better decisions and business outcomes.
We hope you stick around for the ride.
What's Emotion Got To Do With It?
The Affect Heuristic and Influence of Emotions
Flying scares you? Why? Because planes can crash? You’ve read this in the news, seen it all over social media.
Now you get cold feet at the thought of boarding a plane.
But think about it. Is this fear rational or something else? Is it rooted in facts, data or logic?
The odds of a car crash are 1 in 114, while odds of dying in a plane crash are 1 in 9,821. Yes, 1 in 9,821, that’s 87 times lesser than a car crash fatality!
Then why are you afraid?
Here’s the rub: For a species that takes huge pride in being driven by logic, we rely on our emotions rather heavily. We tend to act from emotions primarily and then use logic to rationalize many of our decisions, post-facto.
So, no matter how rational we may think ourselves to be, our emotions have a significant influence over the decisions we make.
Affect heuristic(v): The tendency to rely on our emotions, rather than concrete information when making decisions. Affect heuristic triggers the availability bias and confirmation bias. Strong emotional responses such as fear cause you to cherry pick data to fit your narrative.
The SHIFT: When faced with fear, discomfort or mistrust in a given situation. Stop! Ask yourself, “Is my reaction based on data or facts? Or am I ignoring data to satisfy and confirm a long held belief/fear?”. Your emotions during experiences determine your decisions. You are kinder to a salesperson you like because they are nice to talk to. You may hire someone because their role model is the same as yours.
“While making a decision, pause and reflect to see if your mood is influencing it.”
Start responding rather than reacting to external stimulus. When emotional arousal is high, prioritize data over emotions to make a better-informed decision.
To know more about how emotions affect customer experiences, click here.
If Memory Serves
Do you hear the phrase “well, that’s what we did last year!” in your organisation? You’ve been doing something for years. So why not do it again? Often, even great ideas fail because unknowingly, we templatize our decisions based on the past. The mental cost of shifting gears and thinking of something new is high. What we did in the recent past is vivid in our minds and therefore holds a greater value then something we have never attempted. This shortcut is a mental model that our brains use for decision making – the Availability heuristic.
“What we did in the recent past is vivid in our minds and therefore holds a greater value then something we have never attempted.”
Making the SHIFT – When faced with a challenge, evaluate the cost of the challenge. If the cost is substantially high, ensure you take a pause before jumping into the problem. Resist the reflex. Examine all the options, write them down. Then choose the right option, rather than reflexively relying on the past.
The agriculture industry shifts their strategy
The SHIFT Listicle
The Art of Thinking Clearly
In a world where speed and ease are top priority, pressure mounts to make decisions quickly and efficiently. With a constant influx of information, how does one think clearly?
Your brain is wired to seek the least amount of effort in any situation. It was designed to conserve energy and seek patterns. So you can arrive at decisions and make sense of the world, without being burnt out.
Following are a few ways in which you can check if you are making a good decision, or if heuristics and biases are at play:
1. Question your beliefs:
Our beliefs influence the way we make decisions. Our brains look for information that confirms our beliefs. For example, if you believe there is no demand for a certain product, you will never sell it. But is that a fact or an assumption? Question what you believe, and challenge it.
2. Think slowly:
Important decisions require time to think. Take time to gather necessary information, to weigh your options. What comes to mind quickly is just one option, not the only one.
3. Have a growth mindset:
Is it possible that your brain jumped on incomplete or biased information? Overconfidence in the decisions we make can hinder our growth. Having a growth mindset means that you reflect on your decisions before making them. It means making room for new knowledge. Room to make a better decision the next time.