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The Brainy Business | Understanding the Psychology of Why People Buy | Behavioral Economics

Jan 31, 2020

As students of behavioral economics know even when we are aware of our biases, they still exist. Our brains and subconscious act on autopilot and incorporate biases into our decision making process without us even realizing it. If that’s the case, how can we make our decisions more rational? Improving our awareness of these biases can help us at least understand how we are being influenced. From there, we can determine opportunities to step back and take a second look at the information at hand. 

Behavioral economics is a broad subject with a lot of variations of biases and principles. Fortunately, BrainyTab is a tool to help learn about and reinforce some of those biases. I’m excited to have Radu and Raluca Judele on the show today to discuss BrainyTab. Radu and Raluca wanted to create a tool to shine a light on those cognitive biases. They started researching and came up with a browser extension called MyCognitiveBias which has now evolved into BrainyTab.

I couldn’t resist learning more about a tool set up to share behavioral economics with the world. That’s why Radu and Raluca are here today to introduce the extension to you and talk about why they came up with it, how it has helped them, and why it can help you. It’s free for everyone, and you can download it from their website. The tabs introduce about 530 concepts, and they are constantly adding new material including relatable, real-life examples. They also have a fun contest where users can get a chance to win $100 worth of books from Amazon. 

Show Notes:

  • [03:32] Radu was nervous to reach out to The Brainy Business (I’m so glad he did!) He and Raluca wanted to work on a project together. BrainyTab is phase 2. Phase 1 was an extension called MyCognitiveBias which was inspired by the cognitive bias codex. 
  • [04:38] A browser extension seemed like a reasonable way to remind users of cognitive bias.
  • [04:51] Raluca did the research. They built the extension together. 
  • [05:11] They started thinking about things that were connected to cognitive biases that could improve decision-making. The next step was adding Mental Models. The also thought people should be more aware of Dark Patterns. 
  • [06:21] They have received tons of positive feedback. They are focused on growth and what steps to take next.
  • [08:01] They were hoping for 100 users for MyCognitiveBias, but ended up with 3000. 
  • [09:04] BrainyTab teaches you a new tidbit each time you open a new browser tab, it will show a random cognitive bias, mental model, or dark pattern. If you like to reinforce one concept over and over (instead of a new one each time) that is an option as well. It also has a bookmark manager.
  • [11:13] Melina had access to the beta version. 
  • [12:33] Repetition and loss aversion are some of their favorite principles. We are aware of our bias, yet the reminder helps. 
  • [14:01] BrainyTab helps bring awareness to things that exist and identify why our brains are doing something. 
  • [17:31] Radu is a marketer, and he has worked in hospitality. As an observer of people he noticed patterns. When he started marketing, he became aware of behavioral economics. 
  • [19:17] Raluca had a mini-stroke about 18 months ago. It was stress related and a game-changer for her. She now enjoys her research and what she is doing. In many ways, working on BrainyTab helped retrain her brain and reduce stress.
  • [21:09] Understanding the patterns helps her control stress and emotions. 
  • [24:42] They have around 530 concepts on their tabs. They want to make the information relatable and add real-life examples. 
  • [27:31] We aren't as rational as we would like to be. Setting a goal ahead of time and removing emotion such as selling a stock at a certain number is a mental model. 
  • [29:21] It's Melina's mission to help as many people as possible understand how our brains work and how that applies to our lives. BrainyTab is such an obvious connection point. Melina is excited to help build out the content and sources for BrainyTab (Radu and Raluca are not behavioral economists) to make it more robust). 
  • [30:26] Radu and Raluca are having a contest to give free books to users. 

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