Let’s use the cognitive biases in controlling attention — CXL Digital Psychology and Persuasion Review

The world has always been complex for human beings and the human mind has evolved. As of right now, we are going through a lot of different stuff on daily basis and have to make many decisions in matters of seconds. To deal with all the chaos around us, our brain has some mental patterns which we use to make our decisions easier. These patterns are called Cognitive Biases. I will be reviewing the most important cognitive biases described in CXL’s Digital Psychology and Persuasion mini-degree.

These biases are of vital importance for marketers. These can be used in marketing strategies, content strategies, and even in sales.

Pic Credits to CXL

Availability Heuristic:

It doesn’t matter how many stats you use, it will not change people peoples minds. It doesn’t mean that statistics are not useful, stats have proven to be very useful in reinforcing someone’s beliefs. Use statistics in a manner that agrees with the visitor.

Let’s take an example of gambling, you can layout hundreds of stats in front of people to not gamble and how gambling can ruin their families, financials, jobs, etc. It will not change their minds, what you can do instead is use vivid stories and personal stories to persuade.

Courtesy Bias:

When a person is maybe not a supporter of a specific theory but is sitting in a gathering of people where everyone is a supporter. He is most probably gonna support the theory to be socially acceptable.

This biased is widely used in getting the most transparent results for experiments. You have to keep in mind that the answers of the respondents are not getting influenced by this bias.

e-g If you are asking for feedback about your support manager, maybe a customer has had a very bad experience with the product and he gave 1 star to the support as well due to his bad experience with the product. We can’t say that the support team is not doing their job, ask questions in a way that you get the right answers.

Loss Aversion:

This bias is very useful and can come in handy for content writers. The possibility of loss can demotivate the customer. Even if the chances of loss are very low, still when they will read something about losing money or anything. They will be more n less likely to move forward with the conversion.

Framing Effect:

This is related to loss aversion. Things can be framed positively and also in a negative manner. Always go for the positive framing if you want your offer to be more converting.

e-g Instead of saying “Only 30% of people are unhappy with our product” you can say “70% of our customers are happy with our product”

Ben Franklin Effect:

Why do business owners want you to subscribe to their newsletters? They are asking you to just input your email, That’s not a big deal.. right?

They are doing this just to make a relationship with you. Now that you have done them a small favor of inputting your email, you are more likely to buy their $20 product too.

Authority Bias:

When LeBron James asks you to buy a pair of sports shoes, you buy those sports shoes. When LeBron James asks you to even buy a microwave oven, you buy the oven.

When someone with authority asks to even buy something irrelevant to their authority, people are more likely to buy it.

Fluency Bias:

I have seen many businesses make this mistake. They think that if they used big complex words in their content, they will be impressing their audience. When in fact they were demotivating the audience.

Many experiments were performed and even when the name of the person was difficult to pronounce he was considered more dangerous.

If you want

  • Always Strive for fluence
  • Easy UX
  • Simple Fonts

This can be used positively too in some cases when the name of a dish at a restaurant is more difficult. It is considered to be more difficult to be cooked. That’s why you’ll see many restaurants have a paragraph of how even a simple omelet is made. To make people think that this is a special omelet that is very difficult to make.

Bizarreness Effect:

Try to write a surprisingly different copy or version of your USP. Keep in mind that don’t go too overboard with this that you start planting negative thoughts about your brand in people’s minds.

Narrative Fallacy:

The human brain is very interested in stories and if you can deliver any kind of information about your brand in the form of a story it will b most effective.

This can help you with all the different kinds of persuasion techniques, You want your social proof to be more effective? Try to get actual stories from your Customer.

For example, I use a PM tool called nTask for my everyday projects, so if I was to use a testimonial. Instead of “This tool helped me with managing my daily projects” more effective would be “I was managing my team of four people and it was chaos all around. I couldn’t assign them tasks, dependencies were messing up our deadlines and more problems were lurking around. That’s when I signup for nTask and ever since it has helped me with managing my teams effectively and has overall made my life so easy”

Confirmation Bias:

This is a very important bias and businesses need to use this more often. Go to your analytics and see what kind of audiences you are getting and the content should be polished in a way that reinforces the beliefs of your audience. If you are writing something against their beliefs, you will most likely lose them.

A Digital marketer with interest in Digital psychology, persuasion and behavior sciences.