So, what can you do to be less susceptible to influence, particularly if you discover you are prone to it?

Know out if you are high on suggestibility

Consistent with Greenspan’s suggestions form The annals of gullibility the first thing I will suggest for you to do is figure out if you are high on suggestibility. A short 21 item version of the MISS scale is available for free online.

Take the test to find out where you rank on the various dimensions of suggestibility. If you’re high then you should be extra vigilant about over buying or following friends into purchases that you don’t really need.

You should also be mindful be willing to walk away from a store before you choose to buy and, definitely, don’t shop when you’re tired or hungry.

Step back before making a decision

The second thing is particularly important if you are an older adult who has noticed a difference in your memory and processing speed. This is something we should all practice regardless of age.

When you’re about to make your next purchasing decision, step back take some extra time if someone pushes you to make a decision quickly you might ask “if you really concerned with my best interest then why are you in such a rush to close the sale?

Before making big purchases or big decisions second opinions from people who have less of a vested interest in closing the deal. If you see something advertising appeals that to you to some secondary research in places like Consumer Reports before buying.