What happens to the brain when we go to a Supermarket? According to a study at MIT in Boston the mind is ranking various products that is drawn almost automatically. How do we fill the shopping cart? With what criteria we choose the bag, the kind of diaper for our children or just one light bulb and not another? It ‘a difficult or easy decision? For many of us, it could be quite complicated because several factors come into play: the price, the quality and even loyalty to a certain brand can influence our purchasing decisions.
For this, real sometimes very complex mathematical models have been developed. But now a study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology reveals that in fact the brain does some very simple reasoning and merely draw up a kind of ranking of the various products that is drawn almost automatically on the basis of the information we have on the various items to be purchased .
The study of human behavior tells us that on average, each of us is involved in about 10 thousand decision-making contexts, more or less important, ranging from the choice of public transport to take up the purchase of a new suit. It is in most cases the decisions of recurring tasks in our lives, for which we know the characteristics and risks. That’s because the brain deals with them by activating the ‘autopilot’ mode. “Research at MIT makes us understand that the purchase is a very simple and flexible strategy,” said Gabriella Pravettoni, coordinator of the Master’s Degree in Cognitive Science and Decision Making at the State University of Milan.
Brain plays a major role in putting things on top of our list when we shop in a supermarket. when one finds a special offer on a product it is automatically added to the purchase list that initially we had not taken into account. Years ago, researchers at Stanford University found that in the brain there is a sort of ‘control’ Chicana purchases. “When we go shopping our brains accompanies us – explains Pravettoni.
Studies using functional MRI show that the preference for a product is related to the activation of a very deep structure of our brain, the nucleus accumbens, which is activated in situations of pleasure and reward, while the price of ones vision is related to the activation of the insula, which is activated in response to unpleasant stimuli. “If the insula is activated intensely you’re likely to not buy the product because our brain is too annoyed by having to shell out money,” explains the expert.