Friday, April 16, 2010

Shopping Psychology

I'll credit my colleague, our high school Marketing teacher Mr. Jon Sylte, for alerting me to this
intriguing title. It has wiggled its way to the top of my "To-read" list. (Okay, it's actually right behind some books I have to read for a grad class, but you know what I mean).
In Priceless: the Myth of Fair Value, author William Poundstone explains all the fascinating (and seemingly manipulative) tricks used by companies to get us to accept a particular price for an item. Much of it smacks of the content of a psychology course on problem solving or cognitive obstacles.
In the video below, Poundstone explains how restaurants manipulate their menus to encourage us to buy certain items (at prices the owners want us to pay). One neat trick: use the "anchoring heuristic". Lots of examples of framing as well.

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