About Health

8/10/20 How Marketing Changes Our Brains

According to a 2018 study, the average American spends $5,400 per year on impulse purchases.  Much of that goes towards food items we don’t really need (think ice cream or dill-pickle flavored potato chips), but a large portion of people also make impulse buys in the categories of fashion, household items, and, of course, shoes. Stack this statistic against the fact that total credit card debt in the country has climbed to about 1 trillion dollars—and it begs an important question: Why do we buy what we buy? Marketing and advertising are psychologically sophisticated industries, with the goal of getting us to spend money. They use tactics to shape and manipulate our desires in ways that we’re often unaware of. Host David B. Feldman interviews Matt Johnson, PhD, co-author of Blindsight: The (Mostly) Hidden Ways Marketing Reshapes Our Brains, about how our choices of what to buy are often shaped by hidden forces, and what we can do about it.

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