Biased Opinion Narrative

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My employer, an electrical fixtures supply company, has decided to purchase company cars for all of the sales staff. I have been asked to select the line of automobiles that should be purchased. I have decided that on grounds of economy and longevity that it is in the company's best interest to purchase Volvo's. As a prudent and sensible buyer, I have done research on the web and have discovered that experts agree the Volvo is the most mechanically superior and safe automobile for my companies needs.

Prior to the meeting with the Volvo sales people I talked the decision over with my boss who reacts with disbelief and alarm. He states that "A Volvo! You've got to be kidding. My brother-in-law had a Volvo and the first thing that had to be replaced was the fancy fuel injection computer thing that went out on him. Then the transmission and clutch went out and had to be replaced. He had to finally sale it for junk with in three years." I will explain two parts to you. The first part will be the identification and explanation of heuristics in the reaction of my boss that resulted in his biased reaction. The second part I will tell you about how I intend to influence him of the merits of purchasing a Volvo. Following that I will conclude with my own thoughts and views.

The Heuristics

The reaction of my boss is a prime example of the availability heuristic. He only had facts from one Volvo owner. He never said anything about knowing anyone else that had owned one before. The facts about this one Volvo were very negative which creates a negative bias towards all Volvo's. What has happened is that he has been swayed by information that is vivid and has created a bias decision by that information that he can easily recall (Plous, 1993). My boss's reaction is also an example of the representative heuristic as well. As stated before he has

only known of one bad experience of owning a Volvo and he is categorizing all Volvos as bad vehicles due to the one bad one. He was only presented with negative information and made a decision based on that never considering any research. This created a situation to where he made a quick judgment by representation (Plous, 1993).

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