The emotional state of an individual can subconsciously influence their decision making

Neuro Usability Insight #44

Affect Heuristic 

Research tells us that people in a positive mental state are more likely to perceive potential risks as low, and are thus more likely to try new things. On the other hand, when individuals are in a negative mental state, the opposite is true: they tend to evaluate risks as higher than they really are, and subsequently make more conservative choices.

How to apply?

This effect suggests that (new) customers are more likely to purchase if they are in a positive mental state. Methods to induce a positive mental state in customers during the purchase process include the following: 
  • Ensure design of the website does not induce frustration through poor aesthetic choices.
  • Humans are wired to mirror the emotions of others, so incorporate visuals of people displaying ‘happy’ emotions (smiling, laughing etc. in conjunction with product use). This will also reduce perceived risk of a purchase.

 

Example

 Tours&Tickets used the affect heuristic by showing various photos of smiling customers.   

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