I like the detail in your post. Plenty to mull over. I have been approaching this from a psychology of decision making perspective and had no idea of its history.It seems that from the perspective you describe advertisements are made to grab the attention of a target audience and give them deceptive information. However, those who are savvy and cautious can avoid being misled when considering making a purchase. Not only that, but they should avoid being misled. If the ability to make choices freely is free will, then the effort that goes into making an accurate choice can be considered as a way to rate someone's actions. Something like that?Speaking of trust, I am reminded of the Mere-exposure Effect ( en.wikipedia.org/.../Mere-exposure_effect ). Research seems to show that viewing a brand can improve or worsen the trust of the consumer. Which way it'll go seems to depend on the circumstances, but people's gut feeling of trusting one product/company over another can be affected. Making decisions in a cold, rational way (gotta love spreadsheets...) can get around this effect.
Well companies target ads to seemingly everyone. Why is this?
To sell their product or service of course. It's a marketing tactic that works better than word of mouth. It is used to appeal to the wants and the desire part of the mind. Through the power of suggestion, it can help persuade people to at least mention the advertisement or even get the person to look into said thing themselves. For instance, any time I hear an ad for pit smoked BBQ... I'm going out of my way for it.
So it has at least a slight affect on everyone, even those of normal willpower, right?
Usually. Even those with strong willpower, certain ads are effective for them as I mentioned the BBQ and me. Though for others that lack an interest in common things, ads probably don't do much for them at all.
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I prefer subscriptions, but yeah if people choose to pay via ads then they are putting that influence on themselves.
Yeah, that too.
More options means more free will? Interesting, I hadn't considered that way of describing free will.
So adding something as an option and making it feel more familiar through exposure may limit your options, but you can still choose, so free will is maintained?
Ads do not limit your options simply by existing. If for example I'm looking to buy a car and an ad for Volkwagen is the first one I come across, there's nothing compelling me to only go but a VW.
Alright. Perhaps they have an impact on people who do less research and go off "I remember a product that does this" gut feelings.If that's the case, a bit of patience and study can avoid the manipulation.
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