At the O'Reilly Open Source Conference, Perl Training Australia's Paul Fenwick presents a number of psychological studies showing how to influence people's behavior, moods, and buying decisions. Infusing humor throughout his entire presentation, he initially lists the top three contributors to the understanding of human minds -- psychologists, neuroscientists, and salespeople -- and describes quite a few weird effects of mental tricks.
Ranging from priming study participants to set up certain feelings, to blocking long-term memory foundations with Tetris, studies on how the human mind works have found quite a few bugs, all of which can be exploited by companies out to sell us products. He focuses particularly on humans' virtual inability to assign objects value. Not only can mood affect our purchasing decisions, the prices of similar objects and price bundling can wreak havoc on our reasoning. What's more, after the studies, people rarely know that they're being manipulated or affected; instead, they attribute their actions to different factors or don't notice a change in their behavior at all.
With witty commentary and a sardonic overview of key studies that advertisers and corporations utilize to increase sales, Paul Fenwick gleefully describes the pitfalls of our ability to think rationally. As he touches on concrete examples for each 'bug and exploit in wetware,' Fenwick presents a near 'how-to' guide to manipulate those around us, but how to recognize those manipulations, as well.
Paul Fenwick is the managing director of Perl Training Australia, and has been teaching computer science for over a decade. He is an internationally acclaimed presenter at conferences and user-groups worldwide, where he is well-known for his humour and off-beat topics.
In his spare time, Paul’s interests include security, mycology, cycling, coffee, scuba diving, and lexically scoped user pragmata.
This free podcast is from our Open Source Conference series.