What casinos, malls, and retailers do to keep you spending

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Photo by Kvnga on Unsplash

Have you ever walked into a mall or a big-box store — like a Walmart, Target, or IKEA — and found yourself shopping for hours instead of minutes?

For example, if you’ve visited an IKEA warehouse, you might’ve noticed that there are no (working) clocks or windows once you’re inside the store. Most malls have limited skylights and few windows. This exclusion of daylight is an old trick borrowed from casino design. Many casinos don’t have clocks or windows, in the hope that gamblers will lose track of how long they’ve been at the table.

Why? It’s because casinos, malls…


And What It Can Teach Us About Creating Better Experiences

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Photo by Mollie Sivaram on Unsplash

If there’s a company synonymous with a seamless customer experience, it’s Netflix. Over the past two decades, the platform has become the default entertainment source for many. Fifteen percent of the world’s web traffic goes to Netflix, and during the first few months of the pandemic, streaming traffic increased another 12%.

Netflix has grown from a plucky startup to a company with a market value of $247 billion. And that growth mainly came from subscriber acquisition. As of 2020, the platform had more than 200 million total customers. …


Using the thrill of novelty, disorganized bins, and inconvenient store locations

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Photo by Nathan Fertig on Unsplash

Founded in 1943 by Ingvar Kamprad, IKEA sells ready-to-assemble furniture and home accessories. What started as a vision to bring interior design to the masses has grown to 433 IKEA stores operating in 52 countries. It’s been the world’s largest furniture retailer since 2008. To put those numbers into perspective, the brand sells a set of its Billy bookcases every ten seconds. It’s said that one in ten Europeans were conceived on an IKEA bed.

You might be familiar with the numbers, but did you know that IKEA uses psychology to help drive its success?

1. Scarcity Effect and the Thrill of Novelty in Bulla Bulla

IKEA uses a merchandising technique…


How this “Golden Rule” of behavior change can help you create habits that work for you, not against you

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Photo by Anastase Maragos on Unsplash

Have you ever gotten stuck in a poor routine, like ordering pizza every Wednesday, then tried to stop? Not easy, is it? Once you repeat a behavior a few times, it can quickly become a habit.

Why? Because our brain loves to create habits. A habit requires less thinking, which means it needs less energy, and our brains love that. Studies show that habits — actions performed without conscious thought — make up 43% of our daily actions.

Studies show that up to 43% of our daily actions are habits — actions performed without conscious thought.

If so many of…


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EPISODE SUMMARY

Have you ever found yourself giving a waiter a bigger tip when you pay with a credit card? …


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I’m so excited to introduce the Choice Hacking podcast, a weekly show dedicated to exploring the ways behavioral science and psychology intersect with experience design, marketing, startups, and more.

We’re just getting started, but if you enjoy it, please consider subscribing and leaving a rating or review. Thanks!

Click here for a direct link to the episode

Or listen and subscribe to the podcast on: Apple, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, and Simplecast.

EPISODE SUMMARY

Have you ever found yourself giving a waiter a bigger tip when you pay with a credit card? How about splurging on that new computer you’ve had your eye on — are you more likely to put it on a card or use cash?

Whenever people make a purchase, they experience something…


Why behavioral science says context is more important than willpower

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Photo by Štefan Štefančík on Unsplash

“When we look at living creatures from an outward point of view, one of the first things that strike us is that they are bundles of habits.”

— William James, psychologist

Every year, my friend Joe (not his real name) decides to quit smoking. How do I know? He makes a Facebook proclamation around New Years’, declaring he’s done with cigarettes. There are weekly progress updates for a month or so while he white-knuckles his way through his first smoke-free days. But eventually, Joe backslides.

Why? He goes out to a bar with a friend who smokes.


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I’m so excited to introduce the Choice Hacking podcast, a weekly show dedicated to exploring the ways behavioral science and psychology intersect with experience design, marketing, startups, and more.

We’re just getting started, but if you enjoy it, please consider subscribing and leaving a rating or review. Thanks!

Click here for a direct link to the episode

Or listen and subscribe to the podcast: Apple, Spotify, Amazon Music, Stitcher, Deezer, Pocketcast, Google Podcasts, and Simplecast.

EPISODE SUMMARY

Did you know that people consider good-looking individuals more intelligent, more successful, and more popular? That studies even shown that attractive people get lighter prison sentences when judged for the same crime as an…


How this psychological principle can help your experience punch above its weight

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Photo by Lidya Nada on Unsplash

How do the best companies create a customer experience that generates joy, happiness, and fond memories? To answer that question, it’s useful to understand how our brains create memories.

Nobel-winning economist Daniel Kahneman explored this subject in a study about how people remember pain during a colonoscopy. He asked subjects to rate their discomfort during the procedure. Kahneman’s team then compared the patients’ “remembered” pain experiences with data recorded during the procedure.

The team found that subjects rated the pain of their entire experience based on only two points. …


Studies say the time of day you make decisions can be crucial for sticking to your goals

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Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

Have you ever been in line at the supermarket and spied a candy bar display near the register? That’s because grocers know that the longer you shop in their stores, the less willpower you have, and the more likely you’ll be to throw that candy bar in your cart. After an exhaustive study, the United Kingdom recently banned unhealthy food and candy displays at checkouts for this reason.

Why is your willpower more likely to fail after you’ve spent an hour shopping? …

Jennifer Clinehens

Behavior change strategist. Use science and psychology to improve design, CX, UX, marketing, habits — subscribe at https://choicehacking.com/newsletter/

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