Ethics and Business and Psychology, Can This All Work Together?

Psychology runs in Bart’s genes which may be a reason for him to take up this profession. Bart Schutz’s parents were psychologists and so is his sister. He is therefore well aware of behaviour and what is driving our thoughts I interview Bart on Conversion Elite so we can have a sneak peak into his presentation June 6th.

“Can you share what are our own “illusions of control”? and how we can change this?

We have a multitude of illusions of control. The main one is we think with our consciousness that we are controlling our behaviour. But we find through experimentation this is not the case. For example regarding a new website in terms of behaviour.

1) A lot of behaviours are driven by automative and intutive processes, called system 1 and system 2. This frame work is dual processing theory.

The main thing is that we think with our consciousness we are controlling our behaviour. But we find through experimentation this is not the case.

In my talks, I do some tricks to show you were not in control of your behaviour. I may do one at Search Elite in June.

One of the main reasons in my opinion that marketers are bad at creating user experiences is that they have 2 systems in their brain as well. But you are not aware of your own processes.

If you ask experts regarding user testings, they will tell you that you need to be user centric and have to listen more to the user. But user centric is brain centric.

2) Another illusion of control is that marketeers think they understand their users. Most of them do not to their fullest. They mainly understand the consciousness of it.

So one of the things I want to change in business is that many people think too much, talk too much instead of carrying out experiments. We should run experiments, we do not know enough what drives behaviour.

3) We have an illusion with regards to what we control in our memory. We think an experience is memorised how we lived through it. The remembering self and the experience self are distinct. Memory does not take into account the duration of an experience. The duration of the experience is irrelevant. For example if you extend your holiday from 1 week to 2 weeks, the length of the holiday is not important. It is the experience of a few key highlights while you are away. We remember the highlights and the endings.

That is an illusion of control where businesses are not focusing enough on. We need to apply the fact that people remember highlights and the endings, so if one of your goals is creating loyalty, you need to make sure that customers memorise the experience as a positive one. It is not about taking out the negative aspects. The negative experiences cannot be the peak of the memory.

There are a lot of unconscious things going on. Start with a conscious decision early on, this has to become a habit to use your product. In terms of habit forming, making people make the switch from a conscious behaviour to an unconscious behaviour.

You mentioned Ethics in your talk, how important is ethics in business? Can a big business be successful and also be ethical?

A big business can be successful and ethical. Businesses are not intentionally unethical. Typically if I speak to board levels, they say their business’ purpose is about creating value for the customer. If you drill it down (eg marketing manager for loans), it becomes unethical cause their performance is based on a target on the number of loans he/she sells.

The problem with ethics is we know so little what is influencing human behaviour. Businesses do not realise they are being unethical and do not have the intention to be unethical. In the world of CRO, the business wants to know how many times is the Thank you page shown and how much margin is made. But these are business benefits.

We work with clients and run experiments, we measure the user benefits. For example we are running an experiment for TELCO, we are testing in which order should we show the pricing plans for the order. We know that especially teenagers sometimes suffer shocking bill effect. They often go over their GB data allowance using their mobile data and so we do an analyse for this group.

Are they choosing the best plan for them? No they are not, they choose too cheap a plan which in the end they will have pay more because they go above their GBs.

We make companies aware of the effects on human behaviour because it is sometimes counter intuitive.

For example, Hostels.com is one of our clients we were testing using the word “safety” in copy on the website. If you mention the name or word safety then millennials are booking less. We do not know why. But conversion rates are dropping if we mention safety. So we started implicating the safety without saying the word. For example by stating the hostel has lockers, there was security and there were clean sheets. Then the implicit safety is a big driver in bookings. But this is more prevalent across women than men.

Ethics is about making people aware that human behaviour is complex. Every action that is influencing their behaviour is not necessarily in their benefit. It can actually be hurting them. That is where ethics come in. It is not that you are intentionally unethical. You are not aware of the bad effects when you are trying to do.”

Thank you Bart for your time. We look forward to seeing you in London on June 6th !

83 thoughts on “Ethics and Business and Psychology, Can This All Work Together?

Leave Comment