It was in an electrical goods store in Heathrow Airport where I realised just how much of my decision-making I've ceded to Google. Having finally convinced myself that I should invest over £100 in a pair of decent headphones, I spent 20 minutes Googling the brands and models until I'd satisfied myself my choice of headphones was right. And, if you ever needed a testament to the power of branding, that I wasn't making a mistake not buying Beats...
I thought about this in connection with this interview with Steven Sloman, a professor of cognitive science at Brown University, and the author of "The Knowledge Illusion: Why We Never Think Alone".
Sloman says that "the decisions we make, the attitudes we form, the judgments we make, depend very much on what other people are thinking". There's lots of implications for Public Relations in this tendency, and this interview with Sloman gave me a lot of food for thought.
And if you were wondering, I'm very happy with the headphones, and I definitely think Google made the right decision for me.
our attitudes are shaped much more by our social groups than they are by facts on the ground. We are not great reasoners. Most people don't like to think at all, or like to think as little as possible. And by most, I mean roughly 70 percent of the population. Even the rest seem to devote a lot of their resources to justifying beliefs that they want to hold, as opposed to forming credible beliefs based only on fact.