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The Big Book

How colors and music influence your decisions

Kai Ryssdal Mar 25, 2013
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They say seeing is believing, but what you see isn’t all that there is. We make judgments based on how people look or sound and are otherwise affected by outside influences all the time: music, paint color, the weather — you name it. And most of the time we don’t even know this is going on.

Adam Alter teaches marketing and psychology at New York University’s Stern School of Business and he’s got a new book out called “Drunk Tank Pink” about how our environment affects our decision-making.

In the book, Alter reveals that in general we are sharper, clearer thinkers when it’s cold outside and that the colors around us can impact our mood — from how angry we are to how willing we are to buy. He says his book is not so much about taking advantage of others as it is about educating consumers on what these cues are, because one they recognize them they can cope with them and deal with them and sometimes even harness them for personal benefit.

When asked if having all of this information about colors and music has changed his decision-making, he said that he has an advantage: He’s color blind.

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