Introducing System 3: How We Use Our Imagination to Make Choices
The consumer decision-making process is more than a purely emotional or rational assessment, with a third option powered by the imagination. In recent years we’ve become used to thinking about decisions as “system 1” or “system 2”. System 1 choices are automatic decisions, made without thinking, based on an immediate emotional or sensory reaction. System 2 is used to stop and rationally calculate the consequences of our choices, and determine the best cost-benefit tradeoff.
System 3 Choices
When to Consider Using System 3
Launching something new
Trying out a new communications or pack approach
Building a brand
Selling something with consequences beyond just a few moments after purchase
Then your customers are probably using System 3 to make their decisions, and you need to use System 3 tools to predict the success of what you’re testing. Some existing research tools can be used to measure System 3, and new ones are emerging too. Implicit Prospection Tools, newly designed qualitative projection techniques, and Adaptive Concept Tests are among them.