How We Are Wired to Believe Online Reviews and Why It Matters to Businesses

Fourth Source 03 Jan 2019 09:00

Instead of using our instincts to determine whether or not the rustling in the bushes is the wind or a saber-toothed tiger, we use them to subconsciously drive our buying decisions as consumers in the modern age.

One-in-five (18%) say that they use online reviews before making a purchasing decision.

“We tend to want to know if a business is good or not,” said Nick Hobson, an organizational psychologist. “The best way to do that is to get that information through our social networks from other people.”

The importance of online reviews is rooted in how we are wired to analyze and interpret the experiences of others.

Mirror neurons make it difficult for our subconscious to distinguish between our experiences and the experiences of others – this is why when you see someone get a paper cut, you can ‘feel’ it yourself.

Source: Melina Palmer

Mirror neurons allow us to place ourselves in someone else’s experience.

Behavioral economist Melina Palmer used flood insurance as an example of this.

“Everybody knows that they should have flood insurance if they live in a flood zone,” Palmer said. “Unfortunately, the most likely time that people are going to get flood insurance is right after they’ve had a flood or somebody they know has experienced a flood. It’s because that story helps to overcome this optimism bias that we have that things are going to go well.”

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Melina PalmerNick HobsonLaura Reagen