Most of the decisions you make are not based on conscious reasoning.
— Alex Pouget, Professor of Cognitive Sciences at the University of Rochester

The SCIENCE of BEYOND REASON

  • Most decisions are not based on conscious thinking. Sub-conscious or implicit processes govern human behaviour.
  • The implicit brain does not randomly generate decisions, it follows precise patterns, called Implicit Motives, also known in scientific literature as inner drivers, inner needs, basic human needs, human fundamentals, etc, 
  • The brain is programmed to favour choices that lead to the fulfilment of Implicit Motives. This permanent, lightning fast and automated mechanism lays at the core of the decision process, including the vast majority of purchase decisions.
  • While consumers think they are buying products or services, in reality they are paying for the fulfilment of implicit motives.
  • The most powerful and convincing marketing messages are those who convey the potential to fulfil the consumer’s implicit motives.
 

 

beyond reason science

 
 

Our biggest illusion is the assumption that our choices and decisions are the outcome of deliberate conscious thought. A growing body of evidence supports the notion that sub-conscious or implicit processes govern human behaviour.

This is not without consequences for economics and commerce. The essence of commercial marketing is to influence purchase decisions. Understandably, most marketing methods are rooted in a traditional, but outdated understanding of the decision process. Beyond Reason assists commercial organisations to develop marketing practices that implement science’s more recent -implicit based- motivation theories. It is sheer logic that a method that builds on a more accurate understanding of the decision process, will also be more successful at influencing decisions -which above all, is the essence of marketing.

 
 

The Implicit

The implicit mind, the collection of all brain activity that happens under the threshold of conscious thought, is easily responsible for over 90% of the total brain activity. We relate on the implicit for most of our actions that might seem to ‘just’ happen, but in reality require complex calculations - such as, memory, sensorial input, social interaction, language, attention, balance and also decision taking.

Most people are aware that phenomena such as intuition, instinct, gut feeling and emotions -all popular terms for aspects of the implicit- do exert a certain influence over the decisions we take. But it is only recent that the cognitive sciences start to gain a proper understanding of what goes in that sub-conscious or implicit brain of ours.

Implicit Motives & Purchase Decisions

The sub-conscious brain does not randomly generate decisions. It follows precise patterns -called Implicit Motives, also known in scientific literature as inner drivers, inner needs, basic human needs, human fundamentals, etc,  

The Science of Evolutionary Psychology explains that the brain is genetically programmed to take decisions that optimise our survival chances. Implicit Motives see to the execution of the programme. The sub-conscious brain runs a kind of “what’s in it for me” check on everything we observe and encounter, scanning for opportunities to fulfil Implicit Motives.  If it detects an opportunity, the brain automatically generates a decision that will lead to the fulfilment of that Implicit Motive. The decisions we make are automated attempts to fulfil Implicit Motives.

Implicit Marketing

When consumers are considering to buy an item, they are not aware that their brain is seeking which implicit motives can be fulfilled via the purchase. Nevertheless, this is exactly what goes on in the consumer’s brain, and it is exactly how the purchase decision will be shaped. While consumers think they are buying products or services, in reality they are paying for the fulfilment of implicit motives.

Traditional marketing primordially tries to influence purchase decisions through conscious reasoning. Implicit Marketing addresses the consumer’s sub-conscious mind, for this is where decisions are made. The most powerful and convincing marketing messages are those who convey the potential to fulfil the consumer’s implicit motives.

 

Good reads

"Our unconscious brain makes the best decisions possible" A report on Alex Pouget's research on the relation between the conscious and sub-conscious in decision taking. read article

source : The University of Rochester N.Y.

 

"The role of reward in dynamic decision making" Magda Osman (Biological and Experimental Psychology Centre, School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, Queen Mary College, University of London) investigates two aspects of decision making that have yet to be explored within a dynamic environmentread article

source : Frontiers in Neuroscience

 

"The Single Category Implicit Association Test (SC-IAT) as a measure of implicit consumer attitudes" A publication by Ross B. Steinman from Widener University and Andrew Karpinski from Temple University on the SC-IAT as implicit measure to predict consumer judgments and behaviour. read article

source : European Journal of Social Sciences

 

"Fundamental Motives:  How Evolutionary Needs Influence Consumer Behaviour" Publication by Vladas Griskevicius from University of Minnesota and Douglas T. Kenrick from Arizona State University on the relation between consumer behaviour and implicit motivation. read article

source: Journal of Consumer Psychology 

 

"Implicit motivation: Past, present, and future"  a comprehensive overview of some of the hypothesis re. implicit motivation, automatic evaluative processes, etc.  read article     authors: Melissa J. Ferguson Cornell University, Ran Hassin The Hebrew University, John A. Bargh   Yale University source: Journal of Consumer Psychology

source : Handbook of motivation science, Guilford Press.

 

"On the Relationship Between Motives and Purchase Decisions: Some Empirical Approaches"  This older article evaluates of techniques to study imagery and emotion associated with brands, and the application of these procedures to determining motives underlying brand purchase decisions. Author : Brian T. Ratchford, State University of New York  read article  

source : Advances in Consumer Research