Volvo as the Company Car
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Identify and explain type of heuristics
The moment I mentioned the Volvo automobile prior to the meeting with the sales rep, my boss was adamant that the car was not acceptable because his brother in law had had a bad experience in his purchase of one. My boss has based his decision on representativeness and availability heuristics.
The most dominant of the heuristics present is representativeness. Representativeness occurs when someone relates a present event to a similar event in our human database or memory. The result is that the decision involving the future event is based on the outcome of the past event.
Stereotyping and bias are prevalent results of the decision making process when representativeness is utilized. Categorizing and pigeon holing of current events already stored there can result in less than optimal results. We make use of this process on a daily basis usually unconsciously; it not always the best heuristic to base all judgments.
Availability heuristic is also apparent. My boss based his decision on the unreliability and value of the purchase of the Volvo in terms of the first thing that came to his mind, his brother in laws experience. This is not based on his past experience but his knowledge of a relatives experience. The availability heuristic allows for simplification of the process. He accomplished that by applying it to the first thing that came to his mind relating to the topic at hand.
The incident that occurred with his brother in law must have been recent or emotional as he quickly brought it to mind. This in turn made it easier for him to base the future outcome on the prior outcome. Hence, he has preconceived notion of the outcome and his decision is biased.
I still support my choice of the Volvo based on the research conducted; but, now I must sway my boss to see the value in the decision. However, this decision must be as result of him wanting to purchase the cars. I will employ the attribution theory to ultimately obtain my bosses approval of the Volvo.
The most important avenue is internal attribution in this process. He needs to see the value in the decision for himself and his company. This is achieved by utilizing external motivations to encourage internal attribution. Ultimately, he will purchase the Volvo because “he wants” to buy it.
Internal and external attributions are ways in which we explain a decision. I took the four oclock train instead of the three thirty that is why I was late to the appointment, internal attribution. My friends kept me up late, that is why I am late to my appointment, and this is an external attribution.
The answer lies in knowing how people use these attributions in the decision making process. Understand the process is a valuable tool in persuading or manipulating behavior. If the type of attributions used can be controlled we can influence their future decisions.
At the present time my boss decision is based on an external attribution, his brother in laws experience, as discussed earlier. What needs to happen is to change that external attribution to external motivation by using the research that has been uncovered. In doing so, this will change his opinion and decision based on internal attributions.
Furthermore, a change in behavior based on internal attribution has a greater lasting affect than one based on external attribution. It is also important to state that the focus needs to on information that will make the decision maker believe it is their decision.
The effective use of attribution theory involves two very important steps. First the timing of the process must be concurrent with the thinking stage and the information must contain pertinent data. Secondly, the information must create an internal attribution.
My research has focused on repair instances, safety, gas consumption, recall information and warranty coverage. These pertinent facts will be the external motivation used to have him internalize the decision.
Repair instances of the Volvo, are minimal and usually based on wear and tear on the vehicle. Consumer automotive guide reports, that the XC70 has experienced no recalls since 2002. The cost for repairs of brakes, and