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In the famous "Paradox of Choice" study, researchers set up two displays: one with 6 varieties of jam, and another with 24. They noticed that while people spent considerably more time at the larger display, they only made about 10% of the purchases compared what they bought from the the smaller display. The takeaway is that the cost of making a decision grows with with new option offered. More choice leads to more anxiety and regret. 

So how do retailers get their products to stand out to consumers, and which neurological systems are involved? Humans respond to a something called, "framing" which is essentially putting positive spin on a product -- it's the reason why consumers are more likely to buy a steak that's "75% lean" over a "25% fat". While it might seem like this is something we learn from society, a new study suggests that "looking on the bright side" might actually be genetically ingrained in us.

Researchers took our closest evolutionary relatives, bonobos and chimps, and gave them two options: one set was offered a handful of fruit and nuts positively by showing a smaller handful and sometimes they got an extra piece. Another set was offered an amount but actually received less. The chimps preferred the first option, which seemed like a prize, rather than the option that seemed like a penalty, even though both options were pretty much equal. 

So, while advertisers may take advantage of this, you can blame your DNA when you respond to it. Can you think of ways that marketers and advertisers to take advantage of this? Share your experiences in the comments down below. 

Learn More:
Nearest primate relatives also susceptible to marketing spin (via
"Humans aren't the only species to be influenced by spin. Our closest primate relatives are susceptible, too."