Category: personal

Subconsciousness and 8 Mistakes Our Brains Make

Subconsciousness is not completely understandable and a bit weird. FastCompany prepared a list here of 8 mistakes we all make without completely realising them.

I know I make them.

1) WE SURROUND OURSELVES WITH INFORMATION THAT MATCHES OUR BELIEFS. (Crazy talk, right?).

We listen to who we want to listen, we hear what want to hear, and we like people who are like us and like what we like. While this makes sense, it means that we subconsciously begin to ignore anything that threatens our world views, since we surround ourselves with people and information that confirm what we already think.

This is called confirmation bias. If you’ve ever heard of the frequency illusion, this is very similar. The frequency illusion occurs when you buy a new car, and suddenly you see the same car everywhere. Or when a pregnant woman suddenly notices other pregnant women all over the place. It’s a passive experience, where our brains seek out information that’s related to us, but we believe there’s been an actual increase in the frequency of those occurrences.

Confirmation bias is a more active form of the same experience. It happens when we proactively seek out information that confirms our existing beliefs.

2) WE BELIEVE IN THE “SWIMMER’S BODY” ILLUSION.

The “swimmer’s body illusion” occurs when we confuse selection factors with results. Another good example is top-performing universities: Are they actually the best schools, or do they choose the best students, who do well regardless of the school’s influence? Our mind often plays tricks on us, and that is one of the key ones to be aware of.

What really jumped out at me when researching this section was this particular line from Dobelli’s book:

Without this illusion, half of advertising campaigns would not work.
It makes perfect sense, when you think about it. If we believed that we were predisposed to be good at certain things (or not), we wouldn’t buy into ad campaigns that promised to improve our skills in areas where it’s unlikely we’ll ever excel.

3) WE WORRY ABOUT THINGS WE’VE ALREADY LOST.

It’s all about the  the sunk-cost fallacy, we all do it, no shame in here, just the brain.

The term sunk cost refers to any cost (not just monetary, but also time and effort) that has been paid already and cannot be recovered. So it’s a payment of time or money that’s gone forever, basically.

The reason we can’t ignore the cost, even though it’s already been paid, is that we wired to feel loss far more strongly than gain.

Hal Arkes and Catehrine Blumer created an experiment in 1985 that demonstrated your tendency to go fuzzy when sunk costs come along. They asked subjects to assume they had spent $100 on a ticket for a ski trip in Michigan, but soon after found a better ski trip in Wisconsin for $50 and bought a ticket for this trip, too. They then asked the people in the study to imagine they learned the two trips overlapped and the tickets couldn’t be refunded or resold. Which one do you think they chose, the $100 good vacation, or the $50 great one?

More than half of the people in the study went with the more expensive trip. It may not have promised to be as fun, but the loss seemed greater.
So like the other mistakes , the sunk-cost fallacy leads us to miss or ignore the logical facts presented to us and instead make irrational decisions based on our emotions–without even realizing we’re doing so.

4) WE INCORRECTLY PREDICT ODDS.

This one is my favourite. When you flip a coin and guess Heads or Tails you have 50/50 chance of being right. Every time, this happens every time. It does not matter if you guessed right 4 times in a row, the chances are still 50/50 each time. The odds don’t change.

The gambler’s fallacy is a glitch in our thinking–once again, we’re proven to be illogical creatures. The problem occurs when we place too much weight on past events and confuse our memory with how the world actually works, believing that they will have an effect on future outcomes (or, in the case of Heads or Tails, any weight, since past events make absolutely no difference to the odds).

5) WE RATIONALIZE PURCHASES WE DON’T WANT.

Every time people buy something they don’t really need, people try to rationalise the purchase. We’re pretty good at convincing ourselves that those flashy, useless, badly thought-out purchases are necessary after all. This is known as post-purchase rationalization or Buyer’s Stockholm Syndrome.

Cognitive dissonance is the discomfort we get when we’re trying to hold onto two competing ideas or theories. For instance, if we think of ourselves as being nice to strangers, but then we see someone fall over and don’t stop to help them, we would then have conflicting views about ourselves: We are nice to strangers, but we weren’t nice to the stranger who fell over. This creates so much discomfort that we have to change our thinking to match our actions–in other words, we start thinking of ourselves as someone who is not nice to strangers, since that’s what our actions proved.

So in the case of our impulse shopping trip, we would need to rationalize the purchases until we truly believe we needed to buy those things so that our thoughts about ourselves line up with our actions (making the purchases).

6) WE MAKE DECISIONS BASED ON THE ANCHORING EFFECT.

Here is long but great examplanation of this mistake we all make.

Dan Ariely is a behavioral economist who gave a TED talks about the irrationality of the human brain when it comes to making decisions.

He illustrates this particular mistake in our thinking superbly, with multiple examples. The anchoring effect essentially works like this: rather than making a decision based on pure value for investment (time, money, and the like), we factor in comparative value–that is, how much value an option offers when compared to another option.

One example is an experiment that Dan conducted using two kinds of chocolates for sale in a booth: Hershey’s Kisses and Lindt Truffles. The Kisses were one penny each, while the Truffles were 15 cents each. Considering the quality differences between the two kinds of chocolates and the normal prices of both items, the Truffles were a great deal, and the majority of visitors to the booth chose the Truffles.

For the next stage of his experiment, Dan offered the same two choices, but lowered the prices by one cent each. So now the Kisses were free, and the Truffles cost 14 cents each. Of course, the Truffles were even more of a bargain now, but since the Kisses were free, most people chose those, instead.

Your loss-aversion system is always vigilant, waiting on standby to keep you from giving up more than you can afford to spare, so you calculate the balance between cost and reward whenever possible. -You Are Not So Smart
Another example Dan offers in his TED talk is when consumers are given holiday options to choose between. When given a choice of a trip to Rome, all expenses paid, or a similar trip to Paris, the decision is quite hard. Each city comes with its own food, culture, and travel experiences that the consumer must choose between.

When a third option is added, however, such as the same Rome trip, but without coffee included in the morning, things change. When the consumer sees that they have to pay 2,50 euros for coffee in the third trip option, not only does the original Rome trip suddenly seem superior out of these two, it also seems superior to the Paris trip. Even though they probably hadn’t even considered whether coffee was included or not before the third option was added.

7) WE BELIEVE OUR MEMORIES MORE THAN FACTS.

Our memories are highly fallible and plastic. And yet, we tend to subconsciously favor them over objective facts. Here is an example:

Suppose you read a page of text and then you’re asked whether the page includes more words that end in “ing” or more words with “n” as the second-last letter. Obviously, it would be impossible for there to be more “ing” words than words with “n” as their penultimate letter (it took me a while to get that–read over the sentence again, carefully, if you’re not sure why that is). However, words ending in “ing” are easier to recall than words like hand, end, or and, which have “n” as their second-last letter, so we would naturally answer that there are more “ing” words.

What’s happening here is that we are basing our answer of probability (that is, whether it’s probable that there are more “ing” words on the page) on how available relevant examples are (for instance, how easily we can recall them). Our troubles in recalling words with “n” as the second last letter make us think those words don’t occur very often, and we subconsciously ignore the obvious facts in front of us.

8) WE PAY MORE ATTENTION TO STEREOTYPES THAN WE THINK WE DO.

The funny thing about lots of these thinking mistakes, especially those related to memory, is that they’re so ingrained.

It’s another one that explains how easily we ignore actual facts:

The human mind is so wedded to stereotypes and so distracted by vivid descriptions that it will seize upon them, even when they defy logic, rather than upon truly relevant facts.

FastCompany

Coming back soon…

I disappeared for couple of months because of my new job.
But I will come back very soon to describe everything about my social job searching campaign and post new things from the world of social media advertising and tech.

But the main outcome from my campaign is that I managed to find a job again as last year.

I managed to get a place at Mediacom in paid social and started working there in August and so far everything is going great.

 

“Start With Why” by Simon Sinek

I just wanted to share this new amazing, inspiring, eye-opening, and mind-blowing TED talk I’ve ever seen.

I came around it during the recent presentation of Mynewsdesk’s founder Kristofer Björkman, which he gave in order to inspire us, employees. Small part of it included short video from Simon Sinek’s talk on vision.

Simon talked about trust and how is it born. His main point is that trust emerges when people share common beliefs with others.
“When other people believe what we believe”, he says, then Trust emerges. And from here on, this is how great leaders inspire and great companies emerge with a vision. And then how people believe in this vision and buy their products.

In the second talk, Simon describes the Golden Circle. Again about believe and vision, but he points out the importance of the Why for companies, importance of the vision and the sense of purpose greater than just making profits. He states that when companies, like Apple, have a clear vision and say what they believe, then more customers are willing to relate to that and buy more products.

Anyway, these talks really inspired me and helped to view the world differently. Hope it will help some other people too.

Here I present you Simon Sinek’s talk “Start With Why”

 

And the Second “How Great Leaders Inspire Action”

 

Personal website

www.startwithwhy.com

 

I Found a Job Through Social Media, My Campaign Worked!

After a month of running my social media campaign, I can finally say that I found a job.
The campaign was conducted through Facebook Ads,  Twitter #HireKate, and this website, of course.

The majob impact came from Facebook Ads.
Now I can tell everyone from personal experience that this thing actually works.
I chose simple Pay Per Click instead of Impressions, because I needed straight results and not just showing the advert. One of the great thing about FB Ads I found out was that they give you the price range, which changes everyday depending on impressions.
My average price per click was $0.27 – $0.24. So in total I spent just under $60 for running this Ad for 3 weeks, which includes my $38 voucher I got from Facebook.

These Ads absolutely worth the money and actually do have a real impact.
My estimated targeted audience was about 740 000 people in the UK, and in 3 weeks nearly 140 000 saw my Ad.
This is a small chart from FB.

And this are stats for this website. After starting running Ads, the average amount of views on my blog was 120 per day.

I paused Ads on weekends usually, as I though people would not have chance to react to them quickly in comparison to working days.
Also quick tip for anyone who considers doing something similar, CTR usually increased after 3pm every day and was very small in the morning. So in order to save  a bit of money start running Ads after lunch time, as it’s definitely the most effective time.

While, My  Twitter campaign didn’t bring as much response as FB Ads, however people still replied to it, when I was using relevant hush tags. For example

 

 

 

 

Twitter by itself is quite productive, however, while it is necessary to update it all the time, Facebook just runs Ads without any additional help. I think that presence on Twitter is extremely important, but for doing similar social media campaign FB and Twitter should be combined.

As a result of this campaign, I was invited to 7 job interviews with following 3 actual job offers. Companies simply contacted me via email and asked to come for an interview straightaway. So I didn’t even need to apply anywhere and fill in application forms.
Companies were very varied from traditional PR, small advertising companies to quite big ones and even company that produces online games.

Moreover, I got this sort of response on Twitter

 

 

 

 

Also my campaign got featured on
 Graduate Job Tips

Work Space

And other individual blogs.

Anyways, among all this interviews I decided to go with My Newsdesk. 

It’s a special platform where companies can create profiles and upload press releases, while journalists, bloggers and other interested people can follow them.

From the official website
“With journalistic and web backgrounds, the founders hit upon the idea of creating a platform that would increase engagement between companies and their most important influencers, such as journalists, bloggers and other opinion leaders. To put the relations back into PR was their mission. Companies should be able to create and share content and gain exposure to relevant information – on their own terms. Whether this exposure occurred on the company’s own website, or through other channels where their material was shared, Mynewsdesk would always be the source. This idea reflects the ongoing shift in the entire PR, media, and communications industry – from push to pull – or as we also like to see it: it’s time to enter the post-excel PR world.”

My Newsdesk

While, I’m going to start as an intern in the marketing department. Still the role is going to include extremely varied tasks, and this was probably the major thing for me. I wanted to find something special, which also has great potential. And I think My Newsdesk is just the place for me right now.

Therefore, I’m extremely excited to start this new job.
And I definitely recommend everyone who wants to work in advertising or some related industry to look for a job this social media way, as it is super rewarding and creative. And it does stand out from the crowd.

So now I guess I need to find another title for the blog, as I will continue writing about interesting adverts and post updates about my new job.

Hire Kate – Job Search Social Media Campaign

Today was different for me.
I’ve created my first Facebook Ad. For some reason Facebook sent me a coupon for 25 pounds to spend on ads, and I decided it was a sign.
I’ve seen people doing things like finding a job through social media before. So I decided to do it myself and find a job, or an internship to be precise.

I want to work in media strategy or planning, so  my goal is to get an internship in the digital media agency, which recognises the importance of social media marketing.

And an important part is that I’m based in London, so looking for a job here as well.

Here is how my Facebook Ad looks and it leads to this website, where potential employers can find more info about me and all required contacts.

In addition, starting tomorrow I will launch my job searching campaign on Twitter with #HireKate.

I’m really excited about all this and I will write all updates here along with other news.