Your Friends Influence Your Shopping Decisions More Than You Think (Video and Podcast)

6 min read
Your Friends Influence Your Shopping Decisions More Than You Think (Video and Podcast)

The people close to you influence your spending choices more than you think. To make wiser shopping decisions, be aware of how your choices are influenced and commit to only purchasing things for their practical value. That’s the key take-away message of this episode of the Wise Decision Maker Show, which describes why your friends influence your shopping decisions more than you think.


Video: “Your Friends Influence Your Shopping Decisions More Than You Think”



Podcast: “Your Friends Influence Your Shopping Decisions More Than You Think”



Links Mentioned in Videocast and Podcast


Hello, everyone, and welcome to another episode of the Wise Decision Maker Guide, where we help you make the wisest and most profitable decisions. Today, I want to talk about who influences your shopping decisions, you might be surprised to know that your friends, your relatives, and so on people who are close to your tribe, so to speak, influence your shopping decisions much more than you think. And there’s extensive research on this topic. So for example, let’s talk about smoking. If your friends stop smoking, good friends stop smoking, you’re 37% more likely to stop smoking, because they influence you with their behavior when they’re talking about it, and so on. If your spouse stopped smoking, that’s even better than your 63% more likely to stop smoking. Wow. So two thirds, sort of one third. And then two thirds essentially, unfortunately, goes the other way as well with bad habits, problematic habits. If your friend good friend becomes obese, then you’re 57% more likely to become obese. And if your sibling, brother or sister becomes obese, you’re 40% more likely to become obese. Not great news. But we can use that news to our advantage, we can understand how we make our shopping choices and make wiser shopping choices. Because we know how our brain works, and how it causes us to make both poor decisions and good decisions. So the first thing to understand about shopping, how others influence our decisions in shopping and other areas, of course, but we’re gonna focus on shopping today, just keep in mind applies to other areas as well, is that we think of ourselves as rational beings. Now, if we’re purely rational, we wouldn’t be influenced at all by what our close friends do, or what our spouse does, or what our sibling does, regarding smoking regarding their getting obese, or any other decisions that have to do with their behavior with their shopping choices for anything else. If somebody else got a nice new car, we wouldn’t be trying to compete with the Joneses, right? That’s a very famous phrase competing with the Joneses. Keeping up with the Joneses. We wouldn’t be trying to keep up with the Joneses. But we do because we’re not rational. We’re very far from rational. In fact, our intuitions, our emotions, our gut reactions actually determine about 80 to 90% of what we do in our decision making processes. It is 90%. Can you imagine that that all comes from our gut that comes from our intuitions that comes from how we feel rather than how we think. And that creates a lot of problems, of course, for good decision making, because what happens is called something called post factum rationalization. So after the fact, rationalization, where we create reasons in our minds, supposedly rational reasons, to justify our choices. So we create those reasons. And we feel like we made a rational decision, when we actually made a decision that was very much emotional, and very much influenced, surprisingly, so by other people around us, people who are close to that comes from how our brains are wired. Our brains are wired, not for the modern world, our gut reactions, our emotions, our intuitions are actually evolved for the savanna environment, that ancestral Savanna environment when we lived in small tribes of 15 people, 250 people, and we’re hunters for hunters and gatherers. That’s what we’re about. That’s what we evolved for. So we have very strong tribal instincts. And if we didn’t, we are the descendants of those who have very strong tribal instincts. If we, our ancestors didn’t have strong tribal instincts. If they didn’t conform to the tribe, then they get kicked out of the tribe, and they die. And if they didn’t have strong tribal instincts in the sense of trying to climb up the tribal hierarchy, the social status hierarchy, then they would not get the best resources, and they wouldn’t get to reproduce. You know, maybe they’ve survived, but they wouldn’t have many descendants. So we are the descendants of those who had very strong tribal instincts in terms of conforming to the tribe, and quite very strong tribal instincts in the sense of going up the tribal hierarchy. So that’s something we have to understand about us. That’s how our mind works, because we rely on those tribes for survival. And we still carry those instincts impulses within us. And that results in a number of dangerous judgment errors. These two types of tribalism, two aspects of tribalism, called cognitive biases. cognitive biases are the specific dangerous judgment errors we make because of how our brains are wired. Then that’s what cognitive neuroscientists and behavioral economists like me study and we look at what are the errors we make, more importantly, for me, at least, how can we address those letters to make better decisions. One of the very important errors that we make in regards to our tribal impulse to conform is called the halo effect. It’s like wearing a little Halo. So the halo effect, it’s where if somebody you like somebody you perceive to be part of your tribe, if they have a certain characteristic, then you will tend to like all of their other characteristics. So if they have a characteristic that makes them feel like part of your tribe, then you will judge them in a more positive manner than they deserve to be judged by somebody who’s a rational human being right, purely rational. And I fall for this as well. And it’s very easy to fall for this. But you gotta know that in shopping, and smoking and obesity, and a lot of these things, you don’t want to be doing that. You don’t want to be making the bad decisions that sometimes your friends and even loved ones, like spouses and sisters brothers make. So you want to be careful about this halo effect, where you will tend to have too positive a view of the shopping decisions that those close to you make, and other decisions as well. Now, the other thing that you want to watch out for is called the social comparison bias. That’s another cognitive bias, where we tend to be competitive with others who we see as part of our tribe, we tend to want to climb the social ladder, that’s kind of about social status. So we’re comparing ourselves to them constantly, without realizing that’s how our brain works. That’s why keeping up with the Joneses is a very powerful thing. Our neighbors, of course, Joneses hoo, hoo. That’s what it’s referring to. So looking at them, and seeing what they’re doing, and our peers of various sorts in the workplace. And most importantly, our friends, our close friends, our spouse, our brothers, sisters, siblings, they very much influenced us. So we’re constantly comparing ourselves with them. And unconsciously, emotionally, intuitively, and sometimes consciously, we are competing with them, we are in competition with them. So you don’t want to let that you know, topping somebody else, by buying a nicer car, buying nicer clothing, buying a nicer house, letting you make bad decisions with your money for your shopping choices. So that’s something to keep in mind the social comparison bias. Now, fortunately, you can use recent techniques that were discovered about how to address cognitive biases, to actually make better shopping decisions. One is to choose your friends wisely. Sometimes you’ll have an old friend leftover from high school, who’s kind of a, not the best person to have in your life. But they’ve been around for a long time, and you feel a strong sense of connection to them. But perhaps their life is going in a bad direction. And perhaps you’re noticing that they’re influencing you in some bad ways you’re picking up some negative habits . You’re still sharing those habits that perhaps you wouldn’t want to share. And that you would not want that person in your life if you just met them right now. So consider making friends whose qualities you actually admire, including their shopping decisions and all sorts of other decisions, so that you are influenced in a positive way without realizing, because it can’t always be thinking about Oh, how’s that person influencing me? Am I suffering from the halo effect? Am I suffering from the social comparison effect, you would be spending all your time just thinking about these things, it’s much better to make a specific decision to make friends whose qualities you admire, and then choose those friends and then let them influence you because they’ll be most likely influencing you positively. And again, spending less time with the wrong crowd. Both of those things are really important. So not simply choosing good friends whose qualities you admire. But not spending time with people spending less and less time, let’s say that way, with people who are not good for you who are bad influences. Then, one of the things that you want to be careful about and this relates, especially to the social comparison bias is fads. People get into fads all the time, their fashions made up of fads right. Or there’s this cool new car, cool new computer, whatever it is that people make get into fads all the time and digital social comparison bias. They try to eventually top each other. So you’re looking to compete with somebody else. So you want to be aware of fads and beware of fads. So be aware now of what they are, what’s going on. And be wary of them. Be careful about them. Don’t fall for fads because you’re just falling for that intuitive social comparison bias that we all tend to fall for. It’s too easy to do that. So that’s what I want to share with you about how your friends and loved ones influenced you in a much broader way than you might think is happening. Here are the steps that you can take to address this influence. Alright, everyone, I hope you found this episode of the wise decision maker show illuminating. Please click like if you liked it wherever you checked out the podcast or the video cast way above. So make sure you if you like videos and you’re listening to the podcast, check that out. And if you like podcasts, you know that you’re watching the video, check that out as well. Whatever, wherever you’re getting your content from your videos or podcasts, please make sure to follow us. And that will be great and it’s in the notes so that in the notes to the podcasts or the video cast, you will see the podcast the video cast. So the other one, whatever you want to consume. And so you can follow that as well. Of course, I would love to hear your comments. So in the notes or in the reviews, please leave a review. Please leave your comments. I’d love to hear what you think because it helps me make better content for you and helps you have a better experience right. Now, something I want to share with you is that there’s a blog on this topic, which goes into quite a bit more depth because the video can cite all the evidence on all the links. But that has much more information, case studies stories about this, I think you’ll enjoy reading it. So check out the blog in the show notes. You’ll learn much more about this if you pick up my book called Never Go With Your Gut, how pioneering leaders make the best decisions and avoid business disasters. And that talks about all aspects of decision making risk management and strategic planning that I think will be quite helpful for you. And also particularly relevant to friends and relationships. You want to check out the blind spots between us on how to overcome unconscious cognitive bias and build better relationships, which focus on relationships, communication, collaboration, and so on all of these areas, I think you’ll enjoy that as well. Both of those are in the show notes. Of course. Finally, you want to check out a free eight video based course eight video based modules that you can have for free so that’s completely free and it’s going to be something that I think you’ll find really useful. It’s called the wise decision maker course on making the wisest decisions. So check that out too. That of course is in the show notes and you can just get it by going to for the free eight video based module course the Wise Decision Maker Course. Alright everyone, I hope this episode as always helps you make the wisest and most profitable decisions 


Transcribed by 


Bio: An internationally-recognized thought leader known as the Disaster Avoidance Expert, Dr. Gleb Tsipursky is on a mission to protect leaders from dangerous judgment errors known as cognitive biases by developing the most effective decision-making strategies. A best-selling author, he is best known for Never Go With Your Gut: How Pioneering Leaders Make the Best Decisions and Avoid Business Disasters (Career Press, 2019), The Blindspots Between Us: How to Overcome Unconscious Cognitive Bias and Build Better Relationships (New Harbinger, 2020), and Resilience: Adapt and Plan for the New Abnormal of the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic (Changemakers Books, 2020). He published over 550 articles and gave more than 450 interviews to prominent venues such as Inc. Magazine, Entrepreneur, CBS News, Time, Business Insider, Government Executive, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, Fast Company, and elsewhere. His expertise comes from over 20 years of consulting, coaching, and speaking and training as the CEO of Disaster Avoidance Experts. It also stems from over 15 years in academia as a behavioral economist and cognitive neuroscientist. Contact him at Gleb[at]DisasterAvoidanceExperts[dot]com, Twitter @gleb_tsipursky, Instagram @dr_gleb_tsipursky, LinkedIn, and register for his free Wise Decision Maker Course.