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Representativeness in "Volkswagen" commercial

by Charity-Joy Acchiardo

In a Volkswagen advert, a father and son are shopping for a used car. When they realize an old lady is the seller they surmise that the car has been carefully driven, a far cry from reality - as we see in a series of flashbacks. When we rely on a representativeness heuristic, we often wrongly judge that someone is more representative of a group (older careful drivers) than they actually are. The tag line at the end states “Not every old lady is always reliable - A Golf luckily is!” Ironically, though the advertisers point to our bias in the assessment of the driver, they actively court our bias in the assessment of the car.

Representativeness in "Volkswagen" commercial

Though a father and son surmise that an old lady has carefully driven her car, this is a far cry from reality. Relying on the representativeness heuristic, we often wrongly judge that someone is more representative of a group than they actually are.

from Buying a Volkswagen from an old lady (2010)
Creator: Volkswagen
Distributor: YouTube
Posted by Charity-Joy Acchiardo
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