A new study by researchers at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital in Canada reveals the part of our brain responsible for the decisions we make.
Released in the publication “Nature Communications”, researchers identified a region of the brain involved in planning and decision-making influences our decisions without our knowledge and independently of our rational value judgments.
Dr Lesley Fellows, a neurologist at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital specialising in the decision-making process explained “Our research confirmed what savvy marketers already know: the longer you look at one of two objects, the more likely you’ll choose that object even if you initially valued the other one more. But, we went further and identified a region of the frontal lobe that is crucially involved in this phenomenon.”
Essentially, the findings concluded to the fact that parts of our brain can be manipulated by factors which we do not control in decision making.
Particularly as Australian’s are still recovering from the Christmas season, Dr Fellows points out what clever marketers already know “the longer you look at one of the two objects, the more likely you’ll chose that object even if you initially valued the other one more.”
In order to reach these findings, the study involved 60 participants living with frontal lobe injury which is one of four major divisions of the cerebral cortex and considered to be our emotional control centre and domain to our personality.
During the study which took place in two parts, patients observed hundreds of works of art, rating their desire for each artwork shown to estimate the subjective value. The next activity took place of choosing between pairs of these artworks.
The study revealed that participants tended to choose artworks they had looked at the longest and not to those which they had given the higher value ratings. It noticed participants with the damaged frontal lobe showed an exaggerated tendency to choose the object at hand proving doromedial PFD plays a crucial role in mediating the balance between prior value assessment and an object’s immediate appeal.