Graeme Newell

June 2022

Illusion of Control

The illusion of control is our brain’s tendency to believe that we have more control over things than we actually do. Getting more accustom to a situation can anesthetize us to the risk of failure.

Cobra Effect

The city of Chicago had a big problem. Street trash was everywhere. So the city came up with a brilliant plan: start paying everyday people to collect street trash. But crafty citizens started gathering trash from one neighborhood, then quietly depositing it in another. They had inadvertently incentivized people to drive around the city, moving trash from one place to another.

The Chameleon Effect

Brain science isn’t quite sure why, but our subconscious brain is continually trying to match the rhythm of those around us. Bottlenose dolphins arc through the water in unison.

Virtuous Vice

Luckily, morality is always graded on a sliding scale. Marketers understand this and that’s why so many of them tempt us with the VIRTUOUS VICE, a single feature that’s a cognitive get-out-of-jail-free card.