Yet a passage from Mark Twain’s novel, ‘Tom Sawyer’, famously challenged this notion. In the novel, Tom was given the unenviable task of white washing his aunt’s fence, a task he detested. To add embarrassment to his misery, he also knew that his friends would be passing by at some point. However, when his friends came round the corner they saw him throwing himself into the task with alacrity, presenting the task as though a once in a lifetime opportunity. And sure enough, they all joined in, enjoying the task and completing Tom’s task for him.
Archive for the ‘Behavioural Economics’ Category
I am pretty convinced that the shiny new tablet PC I’ve been playing with in the shop around the corner from work will bring me a lot of satisfaction – just think of all the new things that I will be able to do…..and that new on-demand film service I signed up for at the weekend will make a family film night in easier and more enjoyable. In fact, a lot of the purchase decisions that I make are because I think they will make me happier. Our quest for future happiness seems to figure strongly in many technology purchases where consumers often make pricey investments in the belief that a new device or service will bring them happiness in the future.
This is typically relevant to discretionary purchases but the choices made within even non-discretionary purchases can be for this reason (e.g. by choosing this broadband supplier I will have greater peace of mind = happiness).
Think of your last holiday….did you put aside the camera in order to savour those special moments? Or did you take numerous photographs to capture the memories? When you returned home, how did those photos shape your memory of that holiday?
The reason I ask is because Behavioural Economics has recognised consistent differences between the way we report our experiences in the moment (such as whilst on holiday) and the way in which we subsequently recall our experiences (once we return from holiday). Daniel Khaneman, leading psychologist, calls these ‘two selves’ the ‘experiencing self’ and the ‘remembering self’ respectively. The distinction between the two selves has huge implications for consumer experience in areas such as service design and marketing.