We all like to think of ourselves as rational consumers. When we buy Product A instead of Product B, we think we’re doing it because we’ve carefully weighed the pros and cons – price, quality, and so on – and decided Product A is a better value. And if someone asked us why we made this choice, no doubt we could list off a set of reasons that would seem perfectly sound.
But the truth is, sometimes we buy for reasons that have nothing to do with the product. Our brains can trick us into making choices that seem logical, but don’t stand up to close inspection. These mental traps are called “cognitive biases.”