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The Business of Choice: Marketing to Consumers’ Instincts by Matthew Willcox

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4. Shortcuts Versus Analysis—Ignoring Is Decisional Bliss

Heuristics and cognitive biases affect people’s choices.

In his book, Gut Feelings: The Intelligence of the Unconscious, Gerd Gigerenzer, who is the director of Berlin’s Max Planck Institute for Human Development, writes about how ignoring information has been a highly efficient and quick decision-making strategy for humans, be it conscious or non-conscious. It seems as if the human brain is as much an efficient “ignoring machine” as it is a noticing one. What the brain does is less about deciding where to allocate our attention, but instead is more about working out what won’t be ignored.

Let me give you a personal example showing how the brain can help by ignoring information. I am an ...

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