This might sound like a tricky question but give it a thought. Have you ever considered why we make the decisions that we do? Is it truly our free will that leads us towards choosing one thing instead of another?
As a matter of fact, we don’t really make decisions nowadays that are not influenced by either social, psychological, cultural factors. Let’s therefore take a look at what these factors might be and how exactly they guide us towards making decisions.
1. Social factors
This is quite a wide category that we can further divide in more subcategories.
- Reference groups
Here we basically include every person that is close to you and has some sort of an influence upon you. It can be family members, close friends and even co-workers. The truth is, the moment we want to buy a certain product, let’s say a TV, what do we do first? We ask our friends whether they have any recommendations. This is because they already had the chance to try a certain product and we trust their advice.
Also, family will always play a huge part in making decisions. Be it your parents or your wife and children. Once you have your own family you cannot decide to buy the same range of products that you used to, while being single. Priorities change and instead of investing in that expensive pair of shoes chances are you will invest in a house or in your child.
- Social status and place within society
Although we are all born equal, that changes fast. Someone belonging to an upper class will find it a lot easier to invest in cars, estates and expensive watches, for instance. Whereas someone working for a medium wage will have to put money aside in order to afford a second hand car
2. Cultural factors
We all come from a different background. We set our principles straight from a very young age, without even knowing it. Once again, the environment that we come from, our family, our priorities and principles will play an essential role in our decision making.
This can once again get down to the social status since not everyone can afford the same range of products. Even if we talk about the same country, the difference in social classes remains visible. Not everyone will buy clothes from Zara, or maybe they will, but second hand ones.
Gender might be another tricky aspect, but a fair one. A woman does not share the same needs as a man. Besides the typical myths such as that women have a weakness for shoes (we admit nothing), there are other aspects as well. We invest a lot in beauty, health, wellness, whereas men might seem other products as more relevant for investment.
3. Psychological factors
We could not have skipped this one. At the end of the day, our brain is the one that dictates what decision we lean towards. Perception plays an important role in why we choose certain products and not others. It can be either our own perception of ourselves but mostly it’s how the others perceive us. Do we always buy branded clothes because their quality is really superior? Not really but because we create a certain image around ourselves.
Also, experience is essential. If we bought products form a certain brand and we were pleased of their quality and price and overall aspects, we are bound to buy again from the same brand. Whereas if we had one bad experience, we are going to avoid that producer forever.
Along with these above mentioned factors there are others as well, such as age (a teenager will always have different needs from a retired citizen), occupation, lifestyle and personality.
But all in all, the conclusion is that whatever we decide upon, it’s not simply based on our taste, as we might believe. As a matter of fact, behind every decision lies a couple of essential factors that make us lean towards one thing or another.
Let us know how you feel about this and whether you can relate to this article!