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Choice Factory: 25 Behavioural Biases That Influence What We Buy

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  559 ratings  ·  44 reviews
Before you can influence decisions, you need to understand what drives them. In The Choice Factory, Richard Shotton sets out to help you learn. By observing a typical day of decision-making, from trivial food choices to significant work-place moves, he investigates how our behaviour is shaped by psychological shortcuts. With a clear focus on the marketing potential of know ...more
Paperback, 202 pages
Published February 26th 2018 by Harriman House
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Average rating 4.18  · 
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Tomas Ramanauskas
This is how primitive we are in our behaviour:
“removing dollar sign from menus boosted sales by 8%”.

Read it if you want to begin somewhere with behaviouristics and learn how to use it all to your advantage in adbiz.
Ed Sellier
Feb 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Book review 📚‘The label improved the expectation and the expectation improved the taste.’
In THE CHOICE FACTORY Richard Shotton pays homage to the intrepid pioneers of Behavioural Economics, exploring the psychological shortcuts we (as makers of 35,000 daily decisions) take. The book contains 25 tight chapters, each covering a cognitive bias from mood to confirmation, media context to price.
Our long-term psychologies are shaped by decisions we make in auto-pilot and throughout the book you sens
Jun 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A guide to the psychological tricks our brains play that influence our opinions, behaviour and spending, with specific advice on how to take advantage of these biases when creating advertising. Well written, and clearly split into 25 different biases, this should be essential reading for anyone in advertising or communications. I wish the author was not so negative about the potential of programmatic advertising - this bias comes through clearly - but I agreed with almost all of his other points ...more
Alison Jones
Mar 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fascinating, well written, and super-practical: Shotton walks us through a series of cognitive and behavioural biases that leave us in no doubt that we are not the rational beings we like to think we are. It presents rigorous science and evidence lightly, with an accessible style - I particularly liked the device of the 'everyday in the life of the reader' story that introduces each chapter, showing how the bias in question plays out in familiar contexts.
It's written for marketeers and advertis
Samuel Atta-Amponsah
Shotton sets out the argument for applying behavioural science concisely, and uses a new-to-me quote from Jonathan Haidt, the New York University psychologist about why we shouldn’t always trust what people tell us – “the conscious brain thinks it’s the Oval Office but it is actually the press office.”

As someone who is concerned about society’s tendency to over-simplify I was delighted by his early statement that “There’s no single, grand theory underpinning behavioural science. Instead there’s
John Griffiths
Jul 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
very thought provoking read which I enjoyed because of the systematic way it groups a whole lot of cognitive biasses together - references academic studies - adds practical surveys carried out by Richard Shotton himself for different ad agencies he has worked for and drops all of them into the framework of a single day of a typical person. Clever - the issue with so much behavioural economics is not being clear about the effect they are looking at and really how powerful it is. The book claims t ...more
Chris Rawlinson
Dec 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Choice factory is essential reading if you have anything to do with advertising or marketing in general. In plane and easy to understand English is shares 25 practical examples of how you can use Behavioural Biases to help give you and your brand or product a competitive edge against the competition. The best thing is these tips more often than not require little to no money, and instead explains how by making small simple changes you can set a path for success. Everyone I know who has read ...more
Pati Caceres
May 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I’m sure “The Choice Factory” by Richard Shotton will soon become an indispensable guide for anyone working in marketing and advertising. It provides insights on why some ideas work while others don’t - based on consumer behavioral bias that are not usually considered by creative teams (mostly because we don’t even know about them).

Every chapter is backed by data from real-life experiments, and more than once you’ll find yourself wondering “Why I didn’t think of that before?”.

And my favorite pa
Dec 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Richard Shotton, takes many of the well know Behavioural Biases theory and puts into a practical test and validate it. The book came in as highly recommended one but I was quite disappointed, as there is no original theory proposed rather it focus only on the applications of existing theories to product marketing. If you already following researcher/authors like Daniel kahneman or Richard Thaler (both of their work were mentioned in the book) you will find this book less interesting.

The intende
Brendan Norris
Mar 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
As a non-marketer but business generalist, this book provided incredible insights into how humans *actually* make decisions (and then post-rationalise so we think we're rational beings). The author explains 25 cognitive biases - that many of us are unaware we have/practise - in a very approachable manner that allows the reader to understand how and where they occur in daily life. And of course, if you're doing any marketing or advertising yourself, it doesn't take too much imagination to see how ...more
Chris Esposo
Apr 28, 2019 rated it it was ok
This book is written for those who are not well-read in the behavioural sciences subject area, either formally or the pop-sci stuff you can get at any bookstore. As such, if you've ever read just a handful of books, say one from Thaler, one from Chialdini, and you'd be aware of much of what is written in here, perhaps in better detail. The book is maybe written for those who need some kind of background in a real hurry. If that's you, picking up your book may be worth your while. Otherwise, it i ...more
Jul 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: economics
Liked this book and appreciated the structure, in terms of the different chapters and supporting experiments.

Thought the closing section was beyond weak - not the concept, but the brief argument. I find this slightly concerning because this area deserves more thought and consideration.

Another frustration was the lack of statistical grunt behind some of the more recent testing, sample size being a simplistic an obvious flaw.

However, overall I appreciated the information and certainly gleaned some
Dec 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed and benefited a lot by reading this gem, there is intensive research behind it and many experiment revalidations which proof the literature concepts.

Each bias got a paragraph at the end that hooks you with the upcoming one. which will definitely make you go through the book unconsciously.

The How-to-apply section under each bias is very useful and related to real life in a very noticeable way.

In general, great book and for sure I will re-read it more than once in the future.
Jake Goretzki
Jul 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
Simple, refreshingly clear guide to sine of the more obvious BE biases worth knowing (no huge revelations, but nicely summarised). I really like the 'Bloke having a normal day' preamble examples - which mean you could effectively flick back once you're done to remember them all. I also like the Kitty Genovese reveal at the end (no, she didn't survive and become the TV sexologist Dr Ruth, but...turns out the foundation story of Bystander Effect is kinda bullshit).
Apurv Kashyap
Jul 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What we miss out on!

To those out there, this book is a revelation of your inner workings. For those in the know or in marketing, this is a lifesaver giving minor hacks and ideas to test to boost your campaigns just enough to get those precious percentage points.
Fast and witty, this book engrossed you and cleverly uses callbacks to connected points so that you never lose track of the whole story.
Give it a try, you won't regret it.
Davide Lionetti
May 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really liked the structure of the book: pretty straightforward explaining the background and possible applications of each of the 25 biases mentioned in this book.
Talking about the biases, some of them are actually very interesting and have a practical application whereas others are a little bit too abstract hence it's not a 5-star for me.
Julián A.
Apr 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
It's a great book, essentially for it's practical focus. Most of the chapters are truly biases; others chapters are more relevant aspects to take into account (variability, ethics, replicability crisis). The book doesn't say much about methods for testing reliably the tactics, but that's not to the focus of the book.
Flo R
Dec 27, 2019 rated it liked it
A good book to learn some interesting basics about buying behaviours. The statistics were worth knowing though should have been displayed visually. A lot of the factual information felt like it was just crammed into the pages. It would've been memorable to absorb with straightforward points and graphs or maybe even as a PowerPoint presentation.
Ross Craig
Jan 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Great book that blends qualitative real life examples of cognitive biases with the experiments that back them up. Primarily aimed at marketers but useful for everyone in terms of understanding what we really think and why.

If you enjoy the work of the likes of Dave Trott, Rory Sutherland, Malcolm Gladwell etc then you'll definitely get a lot out of The Choice Factory. Recommended.
Mohammed Al-Harbi
I found the book very interesting and easy to read. Chapters were structure an a way that makes it easier to go back and forth to the desired subject. The scenario in each chapter helped me to better understand the material. It was very helpful and enlightening to understand how behavioral bias influences our decision and how that might be used in marketing.
J. T.
Jun 15, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting with some useful titbits

Look it was an interesting book on the whole. Some of the biases were really relevant and others less so. I'd have liked to have seen even more applications of these learnings to marketing. While the book makes a good stab of deacademeaising (sorry for the word), the balance is still to far shifted to the research.
Jun 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
There are some really eye-opening statistics in Richard Shotton's book which includes data from a number of experiments. Broken into 25 chapters, each has something to learn from. This is a great book on behavioural economics for marketers to delve into to help create a more effective marketing campaigns.
Mar 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you work in advertising or marketing this is a must have, it gives you something practical to apply to your next problem. Besides, who in the persuasion business doesn’t want to know what makes people tick.
Feyzullah Egriboyun
Concise and effective

The book is well organized. It is easy to read. Covers a good range of behavioral biases and the origin of their discovery. Supported by references to academic research. Recommended.
Jaap Grolleman
Jul 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: strategy
“25 behavioral biases that influence what we buy” would have been a better title than “The Choice Factory”, but it adds less mystique or ‘body. And that’s exactly what the book lacks behind the cover. It's a bit dry, but on the upside, light and educational.
Sarah Hatz
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A great marketing manual for every marketer to have on hand. Straight to the point with bite size take aways but enough to get you thinking bigger and question why we do what we do. A lot of test examples that really help emphasise the points being made. A well researched book.
Shawn Frey
Mar 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: work, phone
Really excellent comprehensive book on behavioral bias and marketing psychology.

Only criticism is it's very consumer focused, though learnings are described clearly enough to be applied in B2B.

Highly recommend for marketers and especially copywriters.
Rudro Mukherjee
Jun 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great book to learn about the various biases in play and how it can be utilized by people in the marketing domain or in policy making. The Biases, 25 in number are explained in as many chapter and woven around in a narrative tone.

Good book for reference....
Jul 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great source of condense insights into behavioral science behavioral science and they're application to marketing.
Niklas Laninge
A nice and short format sadly the author has had a hard time keeping dated examples out.
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