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Marital crisis, frustration purchases, debts: why do we make wrong decisions?

Your workplace is not endangered.

Your workplace is not endangered.

Of course, they are involved in political forums and debating clubs to make halfway informed election decisions. Your marriage is not in crisis and your childcare is going well. Your circle of friends is big and interesting. Of course, you only consume within the framework of your monthly budget. Frust purchases do not undermine you. If so: Congratulations. They have their lives under control, process and evaluate all information correctly. But if it creeps up the feeling that reality is slowly becoming the cacophony of a Beijing opera, which unfortunately you can only look at through the peepshow of a peepshow, then you should absolutely read on. What causes you to sometimes confuse the terrain with the map? Making the wrong choices and making decisions that would have been better avoided?

Some explanations: There is the so-called “unconscious”. Most people can spontaneously relate to the concept of the “unconscious” or “subconscious”. Sometimes, however, it is overlooked that information from the subconscious is no longer unconscious once it has reached our actual consciousness. We can not recognize this source of unconscious information then. We can only recognize what information about our sense organs affects us from the outside. And not even with absolute accuracy. What we are played from the inside out, we identify at the moment when it pops up, no more than unconsciously.

On the other hand, we have a strong inclination to look for the essential justifications of a decision only in hindsight. We retroactively rationalize decisions that we have made in reality based on a mixture of completely unconscious emotions and consciously recognized facts. That’s how we are programmed. And that is very good. Otherwise, we could not process the cacophony of the information that pounces on us every second. It would even overwhelm the 100 billion neurons, which are located as a mega computer in the three pounds of protein between your ears.

We decide on patterns. Behavioral economics – as a highly-valued symbiosis of economics, psychology and neuroscience at the moment – has explored precisely these patterns. A little scary is that these patterns are quite predictable. Not all. But so many, that they are describable. All that I can describe and what is repeated with reasonable accuracy, but unfortunately also the clipping pattern for manipulations. However, manipulation is not bad per se. They are only bad if they cause us to do something we really did not want to do and what harms us.

Are we really being manipulated?

Are we really being manipulated?

Are there any leaders who have some sort of secret knowledge? But do not want to announce this, because they fear a mass panic? That would be an explanation. If she did not agree, one would have to assume that we were slowly but surely stultifying. Over 4 billion page views per year on Google. That’s about 120 per user. In Germany. Incidentally, we still buy 400 million books a year. Eleven per German citizen. 18 million daily newspapers are sold daily. By the way, the German spends about four hours a day in front of the telly. (When are we sleeping anyway?)

Let’s jump into the big wide world: Facebook. Facebook likes to give it a headline: “Facebook allows you to connect with people in your life and share content with them.” 750 million people worldwide use Facebook. (According to Mr. Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook …). Further statistics about the number of sent text messages, e-mails or the use of “Twitter” etc. would just be boring here. So it can not be because we have too little information. As mature citizens or responsible consumers. But why does nothing change? Why are we taking disasters? Why do not we ask further? You’ll hear a lot about that in this book.

First of all, you have to be a saint if you do not honestly acknowledge that, despite your enormous media consumption, neither your world knowledge has improved nor your ability to draw any conclusions from historical events. Conclusions that give you even better prognosis for future events. However, you believe that the next news will bring you the really deep insights. Just as you are constantly trying to quit smoking or really stick to a new diet, drink less alcohol or go to the gym. Next week. Guaranteed.