Wednesday, 27 February 2008

The Mind Head Eye on - Behavioural Economics

John Ward of England’s B&B Dorland once noted that, “Advertising is a craft executed by people who aspire to be artists, but is assessed by those who aspire to be scientists. I cannot imagine any human relationship more perfectly designed to produce total mayhem”.

Marketing people like numbers. They like figures and statistics and pie charts and graphs. When they talk about advertising they like to use words like “Market share” and “Brand awareness” and they like to measure these words with numbers.

The trouble is, the way we get these numbers is by asking people what they think and science is starting to show that people have very little idea of what they think.

The science that does this is called Behavioral Economics. It applies scientific research on human and social cognitive and emotional biases to better understand why people like what they like, buy what they buy and think the way they think.

Today, we at Mind Head offer you a tasty menu of links to gorge your inner infovore with a crash course in behavioural economics.

Better art through science, people.
Who’s with me?

Starting with a wiki page on the subject, here

An interview and a little background on the father of Behavioural Economics, psychologist and 2002 Nobel prize winner, Daniel Kahnamen, here

You can see his 2002 Nobel Prize Award lecture on behavioural economics here

And another lecture here.

Here’s a paper on utility theory, or the idea that people do not always act rationally when making economic decisions, here

Another paper on measuring subjective well-being here

Another paper, (these are well worth printing out and reading) about the irrationality of people’s economic decisions and how we can work with them with specific mentions of advertising here

And a final video lecture on Psychology and Behavioural Economics here