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Why Emotion Messes Things Up
By: Dwayne W. Waite Jr.
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In a calm, cool, and collected state of mind, who couldn't make the best possible choice presented to them? 

Of course we would like to believe that, but how many of us are in a constant state of calm? Few, if any.

As consumers participate in our global economy, they are faced with gathering information and picking the best choice of goods and services that will help them satisfy the particular needs and wants the consumer believes they are trying to fulfill.

Advertising, of course, is meant to make the decision a little easier.

Scientists too are trying to make the decision process easier — by trying to figure it out. A study will be published in The European Physical Journal B that highlights the ways people make decisions based on their agitated and regular states. It also measured the amount of information people had along with their emotional response.

Dr. Dan Ariely and a group of researchers saw this too. In fact, he said his subjects were in a "hot" or "cold" state. During the research, subjects were asked a number of questions in a "cold," non-stimulated state. Then, the group got the subjects in a "hot" state and asked the same questions. The answers were totally different than the previous set.

Answer: humans are awful at transferring thoughts and opinions in one emotional or stimulated state to another one.

What does this mean for communicators? We need to make sure we are connecting to our consumers while they are in the same state of mind they would probably be in when they are interested in buying one of our goods or services. 

Find the right place at the right time. And as always, easier said than done.

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About the Author
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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