Why We Like Expensive Things More

Scientists at Cal Tech and Stanford have discovered that wine tastes better when it is more expensive. Subjects preferred wine labeled as $90 dollars over wine that was labeled as $10, even though they were the exact same Cabernet Sauvignon. The functional magnetic resonance imaging of the subjects showed that more blood and oxygen was … Read more

Happiness vs Status

It would seem logical that people would choose happiness over status but many consumers choose the latter. According to Dacher Keltner, Psychology professor at Berkeley, the data across studies show that once people have made it to the middle class, there is a very small correlation between money and happiness (he states a correlation of … Read more

The Compromise Effect

The Compromise Effect states that a consumer is more likely to choose the middle option of a selection set rather than the extreme options. For example, a car-shopper who is given three options: the low-priced basic model with no extras, a high-priced fully loaded model with all the extras, and a mid-priced model with some … Read more

Self Checkout Can Make You Lose Weight

A study by IHL consulting shows that self checkout at grocery stores can help people lose weight. They found that when consumers used self checkout their impulse purchases dropped 32.1% for women and 16.7% for men. IHL suggested that this was due to self-checkout lanes having less junk food displayed and lines were shorter, limiting … Read more

Emotional vs Logical Priming

There is a really neat study on how emotional and logical priming affects consumer choice described in the book Made to Stick. In 2004 Carnegie Mellon did a study to determine whether people are more motivated to give to a cause if they were primed emotionally rather than logically. Subjects took an irrelevant survey in … Read more

Year of the Dog

Business Week explained a fundamental shift in the way consumers spend on their pets. Americans are treating their pets like furry little humans and the pet industry is currently at $41 billion a year which is greater than the GDP of all but 65 countries. The yearly cost of buying, feeding, and caring for pets … Read more