You wonder once you get home, “Why did I buy this again?” What you did was you unconsciously convinced yourself when seeking out the permission to buy that product, to go ahead and spend yet more money on new things which you don’t really need, or will ever use.
Whenever you decide to convince and then make up your mind to purchase something, what you’re doing is deciding in a plural sense. Temporary insanity, temporary unreasoning, a silent trance which takes over, screaming for you to buy that thing.
Whenever we decide to take some type of action, what the process involves is the employment of two cognitive functions in the brain, this where the battle of yes or no ensues. The first being completely conscious and rational, and the other being on the subconscious and emotional.
Showing A Little Bit Of Emotion
It’s our emotions which usually has first dibs and we can at times become overwhelmed when it comes to the pressure of buying something on the spot, then reasoning and logic kicks in, usually too late, realizing we shouldn’t have bought that product once we get home.
The reason for this is because that’s the state of our brain’s evolutionary process and development, that our emotional circuits dominate over logical thinking.
This the reason why it becomes extremely difficult to control our impulses, once we get into an elevated stressful situation, it’s our emotions which takes over what we do.
Then soon after, our rational thinking has its say, and serves as an extremely important and critical guardian and filter when it comes to making these buying decisions. This much like a bartender deciding whether to give you another drink or not.
Not Really That Rational
What cognitive science is telling us is that we’re not rational beings, but instead we’re rationalizers. Once our emotional instincts begin to shift over towards a new product to buy, we’ll subsequently seek to align our reasons to become consistent with that intention.
What our rational mind is always doing is it’s looking for logical evidence to support our most dominant beliefs. But the stronger that the emotion is, the stronger that the belief is, the greater the tendency becomes to help seek out any supporting evidence.
This confirmatory bias is the reason why we’ll often overlook flaws in something, turn a blind eye, this on the things or people that we love, even if that loved object happens to be a product or a brand.
We’ll focus our attention on all of the positive qualities of the product while completely ignoring its deficiencies. This is what can prevent two opposing political parties, for instance, from finding a common middle ground when it comes to the same set of facts.
This is also the reason why it can be almost impossible to win an argument with someone who’s extremely emotional, and charged up on an issue that they feel extremely strong about.
There’s no amount of logic or reasoning which can overcome these strong emotional feelings since the highly charged mind will always find a reason, a stronger argument to believe.
Why We Seek Reasons To Buy
What all this means for consumers is that we’re always looking for permission, an excuse, so we can act upon our emotional desires and go ahead to purchase that new product or service.
This predisposition is deeply ingrained in our buying process as a consumer since our minds have been conditioned over and over to look for validation, this usually because of over exposure to certain ads and convincing product pitches, for instance.
It’s our unconscious tendency to respond to a particular rationale, even if it appears to be completely irrational, accepting information which often really doesn’t exist or make any sense.
Why We Buy On Emotion
Experts who are involved in studying what the role of the unconscious processing of information plays, conducted a study where the researchers approached those who were waiting in line to use a commercial photocopier in a retail outlet.
What they did was asked if they could cut ahead of them in the lineup because they were in a hurry and needed to make some photocopies. The subjects were also given a variety of reasons for the request, which ranged from something that made complete sense to something completely idiotic, such as “I’m double parked” to the idiotic such as “I need to make copies because the police are after me.”
What the researchers found was that compliance was always higher whenever they gave a reason, even if the reason didn’t make any sense. The test subjects responded to the context, but not always to the specific content.
When simply structuring the question with an embedded reason, that was usually sufficient enough to gain compliance to the request. This phenomenon wasn’t without its limits however, as completely idiotic rationale didn’t work.
Reasons For Choosing A Particular Brand
Whenever marketers structure a request for us consumers to choose their particular brand, they have better results whenever they give a reason, any reason.
So once a reason to buy their brand is given, whether valid or not, to most consumers that’s good enough, this provided that it contained enough logic which was consistent with a claim of validating the benefit.
So the next time that you’re standing there contemplating to buy something new, know and be aware that you’re mind is going through this two-part process on whether to purchase or not.
This is what the role of the critical mind plays, where the brain plans its behavior and ultimately decides whether to fall to emotion, or think logically and just walk away without buying.