How Shops Can Manipulate You

July 15, 2012 in Daily Bulletin

The Economist reported on some fascinating research with real implications for the next time you visit the supermarket:

  • If you were offered a 33% discount in price or a 50% increase in quantity which would you take? According to studies people would overwhelmingly prefer having 50% more, but the two offers are completely identical.
  • Similarly if you were given 33% extra free or a 33% discount off the price, you should pick the discount. But most think the two are equal.
  • Finally people prefer getting 20% off, and then another 25% off rather than 40% off. But the two are the same.
  • The problem is that people, in general, are bad at fractions.

To read more including some of the ways that this is, and can be, used, what this might teach the government, details of the study, why you should watch out before you buy your next car, and what would help you as a shopper, click here.

Source: The Economist