Introduction: Weapons of Influence (03:03)
This film examines how our minds can be hacked without our awareness and the impact of social media. Humans encounter ads on a regular basis; encounters significantly increases during election season. We make most decisions based on feelings. (Credits)
How major league scouts determine a young athlete's potential fascinates Michael Lewis. His book illustrates the work of Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky. Humans make most decisions based on fast thinking, but our autopilot system sometimes makes mistakes.
Human Fallibility (03:42)
Jacob Ward recounts a mistake based on an autopilot decision. Kahneman and Tversky's work reveals that humans make predictable errors; economists need to change their models. Richard Thaler discusses gain vs. loss.
Loss Aversion (04:10)
Ward uses a story about "Jack and Jill" to illustrate human fear. Our autopilot system becomes obsessed with loss prevention and corporate hackers take advantage. Thaler discusses extended warranties.
Behavioral Economics (03:32)
Loss aversion can lead consumers to make predictable mistakes; markets encourage those mistakes. Our autopilot system uses shortcuts; primates behave similarly. Free market economies provide opportunities for manipulation and deception.
Advertising and Branding (06:04)
Marketers use images and sounds that automatically catch our attention and trigger an emotional reaction. Ward discusses Coke vs. Pepsi, Prilosec vs. Nexium, and marketing strategies; he compares consumerism to fishing.
Habit Formation (03:15)
After our autopilot system repeatedly reacts to the same cue in the same way, it becomes a habit. Wendy Wood explains why habits are hard to break. Familiar environments automatically trigger habits.
Advertising Cues (05:44)
Brands use "weapons of influence" to urge consumers to purchase their products; Robert Cialdini provides an example. Cue effectiveness, like those used by subprime lenders, can significantly impact the economy.
Autopilot Mistakes (04:49)
Fast thinking can place us in dangerous situations and make us susceptible to poor financial decisions. Experts discuss consumer protection while maintaining freedom of choice, and data aggregation for marketing purposes; Acxiom is the largest processor of consumer data.
Political Hacking (07:52)
Politicians use loss aversion, corporate style marketing, and behavioral economics to influence voters; political campaigns can purchase private data. Experts discuss the Bush and Obama campaigns, and social proof.
Commercial Marketing in Politics (06:42)
Brad Parscale works closely with Cambridge Analytica. The Trump campaign gains access to the private information of Facebook users and divides people into categories for ad targeting and experimentation. Restoring a loss makes people feel good. Trump utilizes Twitter.
Russian Hacking (02:45)
The Russian government uses behavioral science techniques during the 2016 U.S. presidential election; Facebook is one of its principal tools. The Trump campaign's tactics are successful. Jacob Ward questions the future of the campaign arms race and highlights the next episode.
Credits: Weapons of Influence (00:46)
Credits: Weapons of Influence
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