No.11 Confirmation Bias & Shopping Sustainably

No.11 Confirmation Bias & Shopping Sustainably

Ways you can use confirmation bias to encourage sustainable shopping practices.

Confirmation bias is the tendency for the brain to value new information more if it supports existing ideas and beliefs. Informally, confirmation bias is sometimes referred to as wishful thinking.

Once we have formed a view, we embrace information that confirms that view while ignoring, or rejecting, information that casts doubt on it. Confirmation bias suggests that we don’t perceive circumstances objectively. We pick out those bits of data that make us feel good because they confirm our prejudices. Thus, we may become prisoners of our assumptions.

When it comes to working with confirmation bias in-store there are a number of considerations and opportunities, for example:

What’s the story

Identity what it is that shoppers want to hear about your category in relation to sustainability, and make your brand the key owner of the most important environmental attributes in the minds of shoppers.

Tell, tell and tell again

Repeated sustainability messaging and product placements convince shoppers that a particular product is more environmentally friendly. When they go into a store and see the brand on a well-designed display and with clear communication of their environmental credentials, they are more likely to really want the item.

Remind shoppers

Make sure to find ways of reminding shoppers who buy your brand of the beneficial, environmental choices they’ve made (positive affirmation).

Nobody likes to feel like a fool. Therefore, make sure that shoppers see themselves as smarter and savvy by purchasing your brand, and for sustainability related reasons, at least in part. Remind them as often as you can about the good environmental choices they’ve made.

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About Phillip Adcock

My name is Phillip Adcock: I have more than 30 years of human behavioural research and analysis, and have developed a unique ability to identify what it is that makes people psychologically and physiologically 'tick'.

Would you like to know more about how shoppers and consumers think? Download my FREE guide now. Alternatively, check out, where there are more FREE downloads available there. Or why not simply email me with what's on your mind?

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Phillip Adcock

Phillip Adcock CMRS
Psychology & Behaviour
Change Consultant

Phillips Signature

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