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Consumer psychology

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Let’s talk about the Sorting Hat in Harry Potter. When you place the sentient hat on a student’s head, it can magically filter through their values and attitudes to determine which of the Houses they belong to. The brave and courageous go to Gryffindor; the cunning and resourceful sort into Slytherin; the kind and hardworking filter into Hufflepuff; and the intelligent and creative belong in Ravenclaw. Hogwarts put the Houses in place for a reason…

Let’s start with the obvious: human behavior is more than a little mystifying. It would be great if we all made completely rational decisions; unfortunately, that’s not the case. There’s a reason why there are entire fields of study dedicated to understanding the choices that people make — humans are complicated creatures. Whether you call it consumer psychology or behavioral economics, there’s no denying that predicting human behavior is difficult. Even more challenging is making…