We human beings like to believe that we are able to choose and have control over our own destiny. But the choices we make aren’t always an outcome of our free will. A new breed of people, called choice architects, are intelligently and subtly making choices for us, without our realization.
In 1908 when Henry Ford introduced Ford’s Model T, it changed the landscape of American lifestyle for ever. Model T was the first affordable automobile that opened travel to the common middle-class American. It’s probably one of the most successful car in the history of automobile industry. Model T, a result of Ford’s innovation in the assembly line manufacturing, remained in production from 1908 until 1927. It literally sold like hot cakes.
Model T was available only in black color, so when people started demanding more options in colour, Henry Ford told his customers, “You can have your car painted any colour that your want so long as it is black.”
For a moment, Ford’s customers thought that they were going to get a lot of colour choices but the very next moment the realisation set in – all choices led to the colour black. A clever play of words, isn’t it? This anecdote is a sarcasm on one of the most successful persuasion strategy employed by the marketing industry. It’s called illusion of free choice.
The Magic of Choice Architecture
In fact, illusion of free choice is at the heart of performing magic tricks. Ask any magician and he’ll tell you that magic, apart from being an art, is a science of how human brain works. A large part of any magic trick is planning, preparation and setting up the stage before your audience walks in.
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