How our decisions are influenced

How our decisions are influenced

Humans mostly operate on autopilot. People rarely take the take to analyze and think while they are making decisions. Instead, people make snap judgments and don’t even know why or how they are making those decisions.

When they have to justify or provide a rationale for autopilot decisions, people don’t have an answer. However, the outcome changes when people put some deliberate thought into their actions.

People believe they make decisions that maximize utility, while in reality cognitive biases impact our decisions more than rational thought does. Behavior is a function of the individual and their social situation.

Here's the external factors that affect behavior:

7 Influencers


The mutual exchange between people, often referred to as mirroring. When you return a favor you're engaging in reciprocity.


Being dedicated to a cause or group. Often, we must make decisions that align with the group we belong to.

Social Proof

Assuming the actions of others to reflect thier behavior. Many times we will just go along with the crowd if we can't make a decision.


The power or control someone has over others. Brands build stories around 'core users' who influence casual users.


Insufficiency of amount or supply. We will do anything to avoid loss, and we often perceive value when items are scarce or out of stock, persuading us to make a purchase.


Setting an approach to achieve a desired result or elicit a precise answer. People react differently based on the way an option is presented. Framing a product or service in a positive way helps persuade buying decisions.


Being important to or connected with what's happening or being discussed. Social gatherings sometimes cause people to behave differently than they would if they were alone. Political rallies, riots and even mosh pits are a few examples.

Malcolm Gladwell demonstrates in Blink how someone's inner self or subconscious effects his or her decisions. The book is about how we think without thinking, about choices that seem to be made in an instant-in the blink of an eye-that actually aren't as simple as they seem. 

As you navigate across the Web, look for ways that e-commerce and other sites use the methods above to influence you.

Learn more:

Call To Action: Secret Formulas To Improve Online Results
by Bryan and Jeffrey Eisenberg

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
by Malcolm Gladwell

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