Friday, January 30, 2009

Touching Costs Extra

What's your favorite possession? Where did you get it? How much is it worth to you?

Now imagine I gave you something cheap, like a keychain. Would you value it as much? You might if you held it for a little while. At the very least, you'd think it was more valuable than a keychain that you hadn't held.

All it takes is 30 seconds. Test subjects that held a coffee mug for 30 seconds showed an attachment to it that was stronger than those who held it for ten seconds, or those who hadn't held it at all. How strong? Well, subjects who held their coffee mugs would aggressively bid for them in an auction setting. So aggressively that four out of seven times the test subjects would pay more than the retail price for the mug, even when they were told how much it was selling for in the nearby campus bookstore.

It's a good reason to figure out what you're going to buy and what you're willing to pay for it before you enter the store, since all it takes is a little physical contact to completely abandon common sense.

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3 comments:

IRONPIGPEN said...

Favorite possession: hockey stick

Angelika said...

I will remember not to touch anything until I've bought it from now on, LOL.

Stanley! said...

Hi, Ironpigpen!

How much did you pay for the hockey stick? Did you hold it beforehand?
How much would you pay for a hockey puck? Do you think you'd try to outbid someone for a hockey puck if you got a chance to hold it beforehand?

Hi, Angelika!

That policy sounds like a good idea, but might make it tricky to shop for clothing! Still, it is a powerful argument for doing most of your shopping online.

The header image is adapted from a photo taken by Bill McChesney and used under a creative commons license.
 
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