Author Topic: Article: Decoding the bias that makes us spend and not save (BBC)  (Read 3529 times)

PDXTabs

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jinga nation

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Re: Article: Decoding the bias that makes us spend and not save (BBC)
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2019, 05:43:04 PM »
+1. Thanks for the link.

Problem right here:
Quote
...visibility bias has been magnified by social media because the consumption activity is so visible. ... the promotional culture of social media gives people a platform to showcase their spending... The pattern of consumption was there before social media: the idea that if people around us are consuming, we have a tendency to consume more. Usually social media is just amplifying these trends

bacchi

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Re: Article: Decoding the bias that makes us spend and not save (BBC)
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2019, 05:56:37 PM »
There's no doubt that instagram has changed how people decorate their houses. The cute words in the kitchen, "Eat," and the pithy sayings in the living room, "Live life to the fullest."

Is this a desire to escape "normal" life in order to be like the glamorous life they see online? We see the blandness of our regular existence of work, commuting, and more work and want an out. Or is this a desire to be admired and loved, a way to fill the holes from our paucity of meaningful relationships?

NorthernMonkey

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Re: Article: Decoding the bias that makes us spend and not save (BBC)
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2019, 03:11:56 AM »
We see the blandness of our regular existence of work, commuting, and more work and want an out.

Is this not the core pillar of FIRE?

CarlosMontegro

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Re: Article: Decoding the bias that makes us spend and not save (BBC)
« Reply #4 on: March 21, 2019, 04:35:56 AM »
Quote
Toronto-based finance manager Parth Bhowmick believes Instagram makes him spend at least CA$200 ($150 USD) more a month on food, because he ends up eating out four to five times a week.

I think I found the problem.  Instagram put a gun to his head and made him eat out.

Too many people are unwillingly to accept responsibility for their decisions or are willing to to say "I screwed up."

PDXTabs

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Re: Article: Decoding the bias that makes us spend and not save (BBC)
« Reply #5 on: March 21, 2019, 08:10:16 AM »
I think I found the problem.  Instagram put a gun to his head and made him eat out.

Too many people are unwillingly to accept responsibility for their decisions or are willing to to say "I screwed up."

Did you read the article? [He] has since tried to reduce the number of restaurants and related accounts that he follows.

I would also point out that the global advertising market is over $560B US. If it didn't work, people wouldn't be spending billions of dollars on it. It's a good thing that the BBC is willing to run a front page story on how social media affects your brain.

eljefe-speaks

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Re: Article: Decoding the bias that makes us spend and not save (BBC)
« Reply #6 on: March 21, 2019, 09:00:51 AM »
Man, I hate to by so cynical, but I read this article and all I can think about is these spendypants people igniting the economy while Mustachians save, invest, and reap the rewards.


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Re: Article: Decoding the bias that makes us spend and not save (BBC)
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2019, 01:32:12 PM »
Quote
Toronto-based finance manager Parth Bhowmick believes Instagram makes him spend at least CA$200 ($150 USD) more a month on food, because he ends up eating out four to five times a week.

I think I found the problem.  Instagram put a gun to his head and made him eat out.

Too many people are unwillingly to accept responsibility for their decisions or are willing to to say "I screwed up."

It's an interesting social trend.

Have you ever noticed that when someone *is* willing to accept responsibility for their decisions, to say "I screwed up", and to accept responsibility for *their* role in whatever has happened, the people around them almost invariably start piling on and acting as though that person accepts responsibility for the whole thing and, in so doing, helps them give themselves permission to *not* accept their share? One of the reasons people are sometimes afraid to accept their share of the blame is that it would require them to also accept 100% of the punishment or responsibility to make things right.

KCM5

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Re: Article: Decoding the bias that makes us spend and not save (BBC)
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2019, 01:45:14 PM »
It's an interesting social trend.

Have you ever noticed that when someone *is* willing to accept responsibility for their decisions, to say "I screwed up", and to accept responsibility for *their* role in whatever has happened, the people around them almost invariably start piling on and acting as though that person accepts responsibility for the whole thing and, in so doing, helps them give themselves permission to *not* accept their share? One of the reasons people are sometimes afraid to accept their share of the blame is that it would require them to also accept 100% of the punishment or responsibility to make things right.

Is this really what you see?

When I screw up and say as much, the people around me start listing their contribution to the issue. Really, at least in person and with people you know (not anonymous internet commentary - I don't know that there's any hope there), it's really surprising how one person's humility is like a catalyst for the whole group to get out their faults.

CarlosMontegro

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Re: Article: Decoding the bias that makes us spend and not save (BBC)
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2019, 02:26:08 PM »
It's an interesting social trend.

Have you ever noticed that when someone *is* willing to accept responsibility for their decisions, to say "I screwed up", and to accept responsibility for *their* role in whatever has happened, the people around them almost invariably start piling on and acting as though that person accepts responsibility for the whole thing and, in so doing, helps them give themselves permission to *not* accept their share? One of the reasons people are sometimes afraid to accept their share of the blame is that it would require them to also accept 100% of the punishment or responsibility to make things right.

Is this really what you see?

When I screw up and say as much, the people around me start listing their contribution to the issue. Really, at least in person and with people you know (not anonymous internet commentary - I don't know that there's any hope there), it's really surprising how one person's humility is like a catalyst for the whole group to get out their faults.

My experience aligns with this as well.  Internet people pile on;  friends and colleagues accept some blame or at least are supportive in fixing the issue.

SheWhoWalksAtLunch

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Re: Article: Decoding the bias that makes us spend and not save (BBC)
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2019, 02:33:06 PM »
It's an interesting social trend.

Have you ever noticed that when someone *is* willing to accept responsibility for their decisions, to say "I screwed up", and to accept responsibility for *their* role in whatever has happened, the people around them almost invariably start piling on and acting as though that person accepts responsibility for the whole thing and, in so doing, helps them give themselves permission to *not* accept their share? One of the reasons people are sometimes afraid to accept their share of the blame is that it would require them to also accept 100% of the punishment or responsibility to make things right.

Is this really what you see?

When I screw up and say as much, the people around me start listing their contribution to the issue. Really, at least in person and with people you know (not anonymous internet commentary - I don't know that there's any hope there), it's really surprising how one person's humility is like a catalyst for the whole group to get out their faults.

My experience aligns with this as well.  Internet people pile on;  friends and colleagues accept some blame or at least are supportive in fixing the issue.

I make it a habit to admit when I'm wrong.  People who jump in with solutions are people I try to spend more time with, and people who pile on are people I know to avoid whenever possible in the future.

TheGrimSqueaker

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Re: Article: Decoding the bias that makes us spend and not save (BBC)
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2019, 10:39:03 PM »
It's an interesting social trend.

Have you ever noticed that when someone *is* willing to accept responsibility for their decisions, to say "I screwed up", and to accept responsibility for *their* role in whatever has happened, the people around them almost invariably start piling on and acting as though that person accepts responsibility for the whole thing and, in so doing, helps them give themselves permission to *not* accept their share? One of the reasons people are sometimes afraid to accept their share of the blame is that it would require them to also accept 100% of the punishment or responsibility to make things right.

Is this really what you see?

When I screw up and say as much, the people around me start listing their contribution to the issue. Really, at least in person and with people you know (not anonymous internet commentary - I don't know that there's any hope there), it's really surprising how one person's humility is like a catalyst for the whole group to get out their faults.

My experience aligns with this as well.  Internet people pile on;  friends and colleagues accept some blame or at least are supportive in fixing the issue.

Friends: yes, if they're worth keeping
Colleagues: yes, if they're worth helping to promote or socializing with after hours
Family: yes, if they're functional; otherwise not

Colleagues and and family tend to be people we don't pick for ourselves, and are somewhat "stuck with". There's more flexibility in friendship.

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Re: Article: Decoding the bias that makes us spend and not save (BBC)
« Reply #12 on: March 22, 2019, 02:50:52 AM »
I think I found the problem.  Instagram put a gun to his head and made him eat out.

Too many people are unwillingly to accept responsibility for their decisions or are willing to to say "I screwed up."

Did you read the article? [He] has since tried to reduce the number of restaurants and related accounts that he follows.

I would also point out that the global advertising market is over $560B US. If it didn't work, people wouldn't be spending billions of dollars on it. It's a good thing that the BBC is willing to run a front page story on how social media affects your brain.

I think social media only has this effect on people who are stupid. Keep in mind I think probably 90% of the population is stupid.

A lot of my friends are pretty high income - much more so than me. (We're talking about mid-6 figures high income, some even in the high six-figures.) They never post on Instagram or FB, unless it's a very down-to-earth picture of a family gathering or a child's birthday or something.

Some of them are just frugal. Some of them spend lavishly but understand that it's not really meant to be plastered on social media.

By all means if you have a favourite thing or activity that you like (and that is expensive), feel free to share it on social media; I'm not saying that you can't. But I would have thought that it would be beyond obvious to anyone with half a brain that only poor people* share lifestyle experiences on social media for the attention. That humblebrag post, nice meal or business class flight - those are things poor people post about. Rich people don't post that shit because rich people don't want others to know how rich they are.

(*OK, poor people and rappers.)

I have a younger sibling who asked me the other day about Instagram and why people always post expensive shit on it. I told her, "It's because they're poor and they're trying to act rich. Rich people usually act poor because they don't give a shit and can get away with it." To my delight, my sister picked up the premise very quickly and now is as anti-marketing as I am.

(To clarify, I'm not anti-consumerism. If you like something expensive and you've thought about the purchase, by all means, buy it. And if you want to post about it, that's cool too. Just own it and don't humblebrag.)
« Last Edit: March 22, 2019, 02:53:41 AM by MikeBT »

carolinap

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Re: Article: Decoding the bias that makes us spend and not save (BBC)
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2019, 07:45:41 AM »
I think I found the problem.  Instagram put a gun to his head and made him eat out.

Too many people are unwillingly to accept responsibility for their decisions or are willing to to say "I screwed up."

Did you read the article? [He] has since tried to reduce the number of restaurants and related accounts that he follows.

I would also point out that the global advertising market is over $560B US. If it didn't work, people wouldn't be spending billions of dollars on it. It's a good thing that the BBC is willing to run a front page story on how social media affects your brain.

I think social media only has this effect on people who are stupid. Keep in mind I think probably 90% of the population is stupid.

A lot of my friends are pretty high income - much more so than me. (We're talking about mid-6 figures high income, some even in the high six-figures.) They never post on Instagram or FB, unless it's a very down-to-earth picture of a family gathering or a child's birthday or something.

Some of them are just frugal. Some of them spend lavishly but understand that it's not really meant to be plastered on social media.

By all means if you have a favourite thing or activity that you like (and that is expensive), feel free to share it on social media; I'm not saying that you can't. But I would have thought that it would be beyond obvious to anyone with half a brain that only poor people* share lifestyle experiences on social media for the attention. That humblebrag post, nice meal or business class flight - those are things poor people post about. Rich people don't post that shit because rich people don't want others to know how rich they are.

(*OK, poor people and rappers.)

I have a younger sibling who asked me the other day about Instagram and why people always post expensive shit on it. I told her, "It's because they're poor and they're trying to act rich. Rich people usually act poor because they don't give a shit and can get away with it." To my delight, my sister picked up the premise very quickly and now is as anti-marketing as I am.

(To clarify, I'm not anti-consumerism. If you like something expensive and you've thought about the purchase, by all means, buy it. And if you want to post about it, that's cool too. Just own it and don't humblebrag.)

Disagree. You are using anedoctal evidence to support these assumptions. And "stupid" is a debatable concept.

The mechanisms of advertising work on very human triggers that everybody has, but obviously will work in slightly different ways from person to person.

I agree it's important that BBC is talking about it, it's better that we are AWARE that social media and advertising work on us and act accordly, instead of thinking we are perfectly logical people all the time, and fall in the consumism traps without noticing.

Bloop Bloop

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Re: Article: Decoding the bias that makes us spend and not save (BBC)
« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2019, 07:52:24 AM »
If you're not rational, you're behaving stupidly.

Everyone can be swayed by advertising to like stuff, but it's one thing to like stuff and to buy it because you like it; it's another, less smart thing to like stuff and buy it so that others will think you're cool;  it's an even dumber thing to like stuff and buy it so that others will think you're 'keeping up with the Joneses'. That sort of shit is how poor people and barely middle class people think.

If you're smart and rich, you won't give a shit about anything. To me, the best thing about earning a high income is that I can act poor and not suffer any social consequences. Sometimes I go to work in a frickin' singlet and shorts. Most of my social media posts are candid shots of me doing something stupid. If you have a success-oriented mindset you have no need to impress others, and in fact you can flout that and get away with not spending shitloads of money keeping up with the Joneses.

Imma

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Re: Article: Decoding the bias that makes us spend and not save (BBC)
« Reply #15 on: March 22, 2019, 08:31:19 AM »
There's no doubt that instagram has changed how people decorate their houses. The cute words in the kitchen, "Eat," and the pithy sayings in the living room, "Live life to the fullest."

Is this a desire to escape "normal" life in order to be like the glamorous life they see online? We see the blandness of our regular existence of work, commuting, and more work and want an out. Or is this a desire to be admired and loved, a way to fill the holes from our paucity of meaningful relationships?

I don't think it has to do with Instagram, the type of slogans just change. These days many people decorate their homes with annoying 'inspirational' quotes, back in the days (and I'm sure in some homes you can still find them) people would decorate their homes with religious statements or traditional proverbs, sometimes handmade. I don't think 'live, love, laugh' is very different from 'home sweet home' or 'east, west, home is best' .

ender

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Re: Article: Decoding the bias that makes us spend and not save (BBC)
« Reply #16 on: March 22, 2019, 09:05:45 AM »
I think it's hilarious how many people think the entire advertising industry doesn't work on them, at all..

Sure, it might not work as well but hell, part of the reason these forums are effective is exactly why social media has this effect.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2019, 04:15:10 PM by ender »

CarlosMontegro

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Re: Article: Decoding the bias that makes us spend and not save (BBC)
« Reply #17 on: March 22, 2019, 01:53:21 PM »
I think it's hilarious how many people think the entire advertising industry doesn't work on them, at all..

Sure, it might not work as well[/'i] but hell, part of the reason these forums are effective is exactly why social media has this effect.

Sure, I think advertising is very effective for things like deodorant.  I pretty much grab old spice without thinking twice.  I like to think I'm rewarding the advertisers who entertain me with their funny commercials.

And a think a certain amount makes sense for brands to just be in the game when consumers do comparison shopping, like for expensive TVs.

But a lot of advertising I scratch my head at.  There's a gas station that runs an ad basically showing that their gas = freedom and happiness.  As if I'm going to go out of my way to find their gas station instead of the one on the way to work.  Or the "buy a 30K car now that it's Christmas!!!!!" ads.  Seriously, how do those actually change behavior?

ender

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Re: Article: Decoding the bias that makes us spend and not save (BBC)
« Reply #18 on: March 22, 2019, 04:15:36 PM »
But a lot of advertising I scratch my head at.  There's a gas station that runs an ad basically showing that their gas = freedom and happiness.  As if I'm going to go out of my way to find their gas station instead of the one on the way to work.  Or the "buy a 30K car now that it's Christmas!!!!!" ads.  Seriously, how do those actually change behavior?

Well, you obviously remember them because of it :-)

Just Joe

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Re: Article: Decoding the bias that makes us spend and not save (BBC)
« Reply #19 on: March 23, 2019, 10:21:12 AM »
Advertising is more insidious than that.

One customer might see a cute/cool/gnarly vehicle in a movie or TV show.

Another customer might be impressed with a chassis that is 15% more stiff or an engine with a high compression engine than the previous generation of the example vehicle. Car mags - read them all through my teens until it was obvious that the functioned as elaborate advertisements for people like me.

Many ways to attract the dollars.

We've quit alot of media over the past ten years. Less TV, fewer movies, no magazines, etc. The mind space that has been freed is a great thing. When advertising is presented to us we find ourselves more resistant to it and more aware of it.

carolinap

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Re: Article: Decoding the bias that makes us spend and not save (BBC)
« Reply #20 on: March 25, 2019, 08:07:03 AM »
I think it's hilarious how many people think the entire advertising industry doesn't work on them, at all..

Sure, it might not work as well but hell, part of the reason these forums are effective is exactly why social media has this effect.

My thoughts exactly.
Nobody is perfectly rational all the time, even if we want to think about ourselves that way.

Laura33

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Re: Article: Decoding the bias that makes us spend and not save (BBC)
« Reply #21 on: March 25, 2019, 09:02:44 AM »
I think I found the problem.  Instagram put a gun to his head and made him eat out.

Too many people are unwillingly to accept responsibility for their decisions or are willing to to say "I screwed up."

Did you read the article? [He] has since tried to reduce the number of restaurants and related accounts that he follows.

I would also point out that the global advertising market is over $560B US. If it didn't work, people wouldn't be spending billions of dollars on it. It's a good thing that the BBC is willing to run a front page story on how social media affects your brain.

I think social media only has this effect on people who are stupid. Keep in mind I think probably 90% of the population is stupid.

A lot of my friends are pretty high income - much more so than me. (We're talking about mid-6 figures high income, some even in the high six-figures.) They never post on Instagram or FB, unless it's a very down-to-earth picture of a family gathering or a child's birthday or something.

Some of them are just frugal. Some of them spend lavishly but understand that it's not really meant to be plastered on social media.

By all means if you have a favourite thing or activity that you like (and that is expensive), feel free to share it on social media; I'm not saying that you can't. But I would have thought that it would be beyond obvious to anyone with half a brain that only poor people* share lifestyle experiences on social media for the attention. That humblebrag post, nice meal or business class flight - those are things poor people post about. Rich people don't post that shit because rich people don't want others to know how rich they are.

(*OK, poor people and rappers.)

I have a younger sibling who asked me the other day about Instagram and why people always post expensive shit on it. I told her, "It's because they're poor and they're trying to act rich. Rich people usually act poor because they don't give a shit and can get away with it." To my delight, my sister picked up the premise very quickly and now is as anti-marketing as I am.

(To clarify, I'm not anti-consumerism. If you like something expensive and you've thought about the purchase, by all means, buy it. And if you want to post about it, that's cool too. Just own it and don't humblebrag.)

I agree that the really wealthy don't flaunt on FB or IG.  This is the classic "old money vs. new money" thing -- since time immemorial, old money has always thought that new money is completely gauche. 

But I think your interpretation is extremely limited, based on your view of the world.  You are defining "rational" as "economically efficient," and "stupid" as "using money in a way I disagree with."  That's a pretty popular view here, where we consider ourselves rational and smarter than the average bear.  But that view is limited.  What if you start from the presumption that people are largely rational, and that 90% of people are not stupid?  That would mean that these people are behaving rationally -- in the context of their own society and upbringing. 

But how could that be?  It is spending money on short-term frivolity instead of long-term utility!  Well, there are many, many cultures in which long-term utility is not the highest-and-best-use of funds.  For example: 

-- Generational poverty breeds a culture in which money comes and goes, getting out seems impossible, and in fact trying to save something usually means that it disappears before you can use it -- it gets stolen, or used for a bill, or whatever.  In this world, power lies in your relationships with your family and friends, not in financial stability (which doesn't exist) -- "capital" is built in relationships, not finances.  The culture is that when you have money, you spread it around, and when you fall on hard times, others will spend their money to help you.  Therefore, money that comes in is immediately spent on things that seem frivolous to those of us who don't come from that culture -- things that are showy, unnecessarily, etc.

-- Or say you are a 22-year-old.  Most 22-year-olds are interested in obtaining the best mates they can attract.  So they spend money decorating themselves and their "nests" to make themselves appear desirable, and then they spread that image around as far as they can. This is exactly why 16-year-old boys used to buy the only cars they could afford and then work on them until they were faster, cooler, etc. -- sure, maybe you're not rich, but you can create the appearance of being rich and cool and all that.  It's the human version of all of those animal/bird mating dances.   

(Now imagine both of those combined in the same person and you have your average rapper.)

The reality is, most people want power and security.  And that comes from two things:  financial capital, or personal capital.  For folks who are FI, we don't need to care about personal capital as much, because we have sufficient funds to cover whatever we have decided we need, and we have also decided that we don't want other things that we would need more power/status to obtain.  But folks who aren't FI, who don't prioritize long-term financial stability above all else, who want power to achieve some goal -- well, they need to get that another way.  And that means caring about social status, because they both need their friends and family as a safety net AND want to attract the most high-status friends so they can move up the charts.  So if that is what you value, then buying "stupid" stuff and flaunting it on IG is entirely rational; in fact, focusing your efforts on maximizing your exposure and obtaining the most followers is likely the most efficient, effective way of improving your social status.

You -- and I -- can choose to have different priorities.  But it would be pretty egotistical to assume that our choices mean that we are "smart" and everyone else is "stupid."  After all, if we were all trapped on a desert island, I suspect the people who valued learning how to influence others would fare a lot better.

Cool Friend

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Re: Article: Decoding the bias that makes us spend and not save (BBC)
« Reply #22 on: March 25, 2019, 09:53:58 AM »
I think it's hilarious how many people think the entire advertising industry doesn't work on them, at all..

Sure, it might not work as well but hell, part of the reason these forums are effective is exactly why social media has this effect.

There was a study about this.  Don't have time at the moment to look it up, but IIRC the results strongly suggested that being aware of the advertising industry's manipulation tricks doesn't make you any less likely to be persuaded by them.

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Re: Article: Decoding the bias that makes us spend and not save (BBC)
« Reply #23 on: March 25, 2019, 10:58:29 AM »
I think it's hilarious how many people think the entire advertising industry doesn't work on them, at all..

Sure, it might not work as well but hell, part of the reason these forums are effective is exactly why social media has this effect.

There was a study about this.  Don't have time at the moment to look it up, but IIRC the results strongly suggested that being aware of the advertising industry's manipulation tricks doesn't make you any less likely to be persuaded by them.

I noticed that after starting back watching TV with commercials after a fairly long break, that I had no idea how much my life sucked :). It was a real eye opener about how much ads play off of how sad your life is in whatever state it is and how it could be better.

As a follow up to you and Ender, though, I'm curious how ads influence us no matter what our lifestyles or situations are. To take myself, for instance, I just don't buy much at all. Groceries are based on what is on sale at discount grocery shops. We get basic household stuff, a couple I can think of based off of, I suppose, brand loyalty (i.e. toothpaste). Other than that, I don't really buy much of anything from Amazon or whatever. I'm not discounting that I'm influenced by ads, but I don't really see how ads are affecting my life much at all (although I'd really like to see how it does, if it does, so I can work against it). I'd be interested into your feedback and/or the study if you can locate it.

Just Joe

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Re: Article: Decoding the bias that makes us spend and not save (BBC)
« Reply #24 on: March 25, 2019, 01:29:13 PM »
I can see how even a person with a low advertising diet and MMM tendencies could still be swayed by promises of "quality".