politicians use the focusing effect

The Focusing Effect – People place too much importance on one aspect of an event and fail to recognize other factors

Could be useful when thinking about presenting choices to the player in negotiations, where the information we provide doesn’t have to be ‘fair’. In most circumstances you want the UI information provided to the player to fairly represent the data and encourage a reasonable skilled choice from the player. In negotiations, or in situations of political will, the ‘character’ wants to manipulate the player and can lie, cheat and skew the information that they present to the player. It is then up to the player to use their knowledge, skill, perception etc to understand the situation in front of them.

“Nothing In Life Is As Important As You Think It Is, While You Are Thinking About It” – Daniel Kahneman

How great is the difference in mood between someone who earns high income and someone who earns lower income? The difference does exist, but it is one-third less significant than most people expect. This illustrates the Focusing Effect; in the income example, the factor of income as it relates to mood overshadows the myriad other circumstances at play. 

 How much happier is a Californian than a Midwesterner? When psychologists posed this question to residents of both areas, the answer from each group was that Californians must be considerably happier. The truth was that there was no difference between the actual happiness rating of Californians and Midwesterners. Respondents were focusing on the sunny weather in California and the easy-going lifestyle as the predominant factors in happiness when in fact there are many other, less publicized aspects of happiness that Midwesterners enjoy: low crime, safety from earthquakes, etc. 

 Marketers use Focusing Effect (also called focusing illusion) on consumers by convincing them of the necessary features of a product or service. Politicians, too, use focusing to exaggerate the importance of particular issues. 

 Key takeaway To combat this effect, it is important to remember to keep perspective, look at problems from many angles, and weigh several factors before making a decision. The downfall of the Focusing Effect is that it can lead to mistakes in predicting future outcomes. If you can avoid tunnel vision (or at least acknowledge that it may exist), you can improve your chances of making a sound choice


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: