Shopaholic inside of me. Why we buy unnecessary

© RIA Novosti / Vladimir Astapkovich in fotoreceptor in the supermarketShopaholic inside of me. Why we buy unnecessary© RIA Novosti / Vladimir Astapkovich the image Bank

When we see in advertising of the word «limited» or «before the end of the action remained three days», starts in the brain neurochemical hurricane and awakened ancient instincts. What is neuroeconomics than a Shopaholic look like a monkey and how marketers manipulate the subconscious in the material RIA Novosti.

Fish market

For many decades economists were convinced that when it comes to money, people are behaving rationally and prudently. In fact, all liberal market theory built on the belief that the participants in any economic transactions, guided solely by the desire to maximize profits.

However, every economic crisis the confidence of theorists in the sanity of sellers and buyers has weakened because of the crowd of investors with enviable persistence sold the asset at the time of the greatest collapse in prices, and were bought at the highest price.

Therefore, in the XXI century, scientists have focused on studying the underlying mechanisms of irrational economic behavior. The result was a whole new science — neuroeconomics.

It is noteworthy that the main role here belongs not economists, biologists and psychologists. They established: the basics of market behavior originated in the days when earthly life has not yet emerged from the ocean to the land.

Anyway, one of the most striking examples of market behavior show fish. Or rather, fish-cleaners. They live mostly near the coral reefs, feeding on dead skin and skin parasites of other fish.

As found by the Swiss biologist Radovan Bari to the cleaners often, a queue — of the fish, always «served» them from «travelers», change the «service centers».

The cleaner primarily caters to the «traveler» and not a regular customer — he is still not going anywhere.

But people are often deceived: the cleaner eats away not only dead skin but also gives the pieces healthy.

Such liberties are never permitted in the case of regular customers or predatory fish that can punish the cleaners for poor service. Analogy with sellers in any market is obvious.

The hunger fighters for justice

The more developed animals, the more difficult and irrational behavior. So, monkeys demonstrates similar to people’s reaction to the change in the price of goods or the unfair distribution of economic benefits.

In one experiment, the monkeys, the Capuchins were given coins, which you can «buy» either they adore grapes, or a slice of Apple, a favorite primates less.

The animal usually prefer wine, but when the researchers offered to share «two slices of Apple for the price of one,» the monkey did the same, as a consumer in the supermarket, and picked apples.

In another experiment, one monkey was given for a coin grapes and the other cucumber. «Defrauded buyer» is very emotionally reacted to the unfair, in his opinion, the deal and throw the cucumber in the «seller».

For comparison, the psychologists conducted a similar experiment with people. One participant received a sum of money, which could, at its discretion, divide the second, and he had the right to agree with the size of the proposed stake or not. In case of agreement, the players received money, and in case of refusal of both sides were left with nothing.

Economic theory says that the second player should always accept because it is profitable, because in any case he received more than zero.

In reality, the person usually refuses to recognize the division, if the proposed percentage is less than 25-30 percent.

Irrational behavior and Capuchin monkeys, threw quite edible cucumber, and man, who refused from the small «freebies» — a reaction to injustice.

Schizophrenia, as was said

However, after some time, the Champions of justice probably regretted the foolish act. The fact that, as found by one of the founders of neuroeconomics Daniel Kahneman, economic behavior is largely impulsive and determined by the interaction of the two parts of the brain.

The first is responsible for the intuitive and unconscious actions. This is part of an evolutionary survival mechanism: over millions of years our ancestors had to act without hesitation, not to become someone’s prey.

The second is responsible for self-control, choice, deliberate concentration. Depending on what part of the brain more, a person makes a decision, either rationally or automatically.

Kahneman found that typically, confronted with a strange situation, «intuitive», the system goes to «rational» — it is necessary to understand the problem. But sometimes a part of the brain responsible for intuition, perceives the problem easier than it really is, and tries to handle it by yourself.

The fact that the use of «rational» system requires a relatively large amount of energy. So for the brain «cheaper» to rely on emotions and intuition than to connect the logic.

In General the «rational» system of the brain enables one to make the best economic decision if there is sufficient time. «Emotional» system allows you to move faster, but sometimes it is not quite adequate.

In particular, information that is repeated many times, are increasingly perceived intuitively.

This is the basis of all modern advertising: after repeated viewing of commercials people met the advertised product in the store falls into a state of «cognitive ease» and makes a decision about the purchase, not through rational mechanisms.

Another instinctive mechanism, working almost without a rational system, fear of loss, one of the main motivators of economic decisions. To him are addressed to such promotional stunts as a message about «limited supply of goods» or that «promotion ends in three days.»

Muffler greed

Neuroeconomist found that the susceptibility of people to marketing manipulation depends on the activity of the so-called amygdala. It is an ancient part of the brain responsible for rapid emotional assessment of the situation.

The amygdala is located close to the spine, allowing the body to react before the brain will be able rational analysis.

The same area of the brain responsible for greed, preventing the person to spend money. Thanks to the ancient instinct to store and accumulate resources, which today is associated mostly with hamsters and squirrels.

The role of a brake for «greedy» of the amygdala in the human body is the hormone oxytocin.

Neuroeconomist Paul Zak in a series of experiments showed that if a person sbryznut oxytocin in the nose, he actively makes purchases.

Fortunately, this requires high concentration: there is no fear of mass spraying of this substance in the shops. Moreover, high doses of oxytocin unsafe with him, in particular, associated diseases such as autism and Williams syndrome.

But it found that development of oxytocin in the body increases, if the person is in a good mood and pleasant environment. Therefore, stores and service companies so concerned about how to give customers a feeling of comfort.