Adam Alter On The Power Of Context

The Institute had the opportunity to chat with Adam Alter, a psychologist at New York University Stern School and Institute collaborator, about how context can influence decision making. Alter’s work challenges us to think about how situational factors – from broad environmental shifts in weather to minor manipulations of fonts and layout – can alter people’s judgments.

A common theme across his work is understanding the extent to which easily processed content (or cognitive fluency) guides thinking. People instinctually prefer things that are easy to think about to those that are hard. Marketers who focus on simplifying the cognitive process needed to make a decision by delivering “digestible” solutions can gain competitive advantage in a world of choice.