Journal of Marketing Behavior > Vol 1 > Issue 3-4

Manipulated as a Way of Life

Eldar Shafir, Princeton University, USA,
Suggested Citation
Eldar Shafir (2016), "Manipulated as a Way of Life", Journal of Marketing Behavior: Vol. 1: No. 3-4, pp 245-260.

Published: 24 Feb 2016
© 2015 E. Shafir
Behavioral Decision Making

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In this article:
1. Human Quirks and Limitations
2. Behavior and Manipulation
3. Influences on Decision-making


Being manipulated is an integral part of the human condition. It is unavoidable and happening all around us; yet, it has not penetrated our naive view of the autonomy in our decisions. We resist government involvement even in domains where interventions can do a lot of good. Yet, a misplaced respect for people’s autonomy among well-intentioned players leaves us at the mercy of those less well-intentioned. Beyond regulating egregious and harmful manipulations, we need to be more willing to manipulate for the good. A skepticism about people’s deliberative, autonomous, dignified decision-making is actually the more respectful and considerate approach. It takes people’s limitations seriously, and proposes ways to help them do the best they can. Aided by standard checks and balances, we need to devise ways for manipulation to proceed in constructive ways.