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Poundstone (Gaming the Vote) dives into the latest psychological findings to investigate how and why prices are allocated. Beginning with the controversial lawsuit in which a jury awarded $2.9 million in damages to a woman who had spilled a scalding cup of McDonald's coffee on herself, the author presents a readable history of how we are subtly manipulated into paying more (or less) for goods and services—and the research that attempts to explain our baffling and irrational susceptibility to pricing. The idea of anchoring and adjustment—setting an arbitrary number to subconsciously drive higher or lower estimates—is just one of many research areas explained at length. While Poundstone's case studies are vivid, the abundance of theories and experiments might prove overwhelming for the casual reader. Nevertheless, the scope of the analysis—its attention to economic abstractions as well as real-world consequences—braids together theory and practice to leave an indelible impression on the reader. Grocery shopping will never seem so simple again when one realizes how much work goes into assigning a price to a box of cereal. (Jan.)
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Poundstone, author and columnist, reviews innovative work in psychology called behavioral decision theory, or the study of how people make decisions. We learn how people estimate numbers, the process of making wild guesses, jotting down offers and counteroffers, and rating anything on a scale of 1 to 10. Extensive research on pricing strategies has been conducted, and marketers have learned what people will pay is changeable and consumers can be manipulated. The book cites numerous experiments, including how juries award damages in court; reserve price research, or the maximum a buyer will pay; the way smart people are influenced by mere words and by the way choices are framed; sale prices are more powerful motivators than charm prices (those slightly below a round number); and money and chocolate are the most popular motivators in behavioral decision experiments. This collection of experiments and related findings is essentially an academic work for a variety of students. --Mary WhaleySee all Editorial Reviews
Have to say, I don't review often, however this book is one of those few game-changer books that you come across maybe 4 times in a lifetime. Read morePublished 16 days ago by John
This is an important work on pricing psychology that has taken its place alongside Ryski's Conversion, Dixon and Toman's The Effortless Experience and Buckingham's First Break All... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Peter Patrick Smith
Really well written book on the psychology of retail pricing and merchandisingPublished 5 months ago by t -wizzle
Well written and informative. Some of it is obvious, otherwise I'd have given 5 starsPublished 6 months ago by S.T.
Very intelligent writer . Loaded with stories and supporting studies-almost too many studies. Became a bit overwhelming at times. More summaries would help.Published 8 months ago by John C
It's a pick-up and flip-through book. Some concepts are interesting, but it seems as if the author only had enough content for a few blog posts, and decided to insert some useless... Read morePublished 8 months ago by trevormccormick
One of the things that spurred my interest in economics in high school was the simple idea of supply and demand -- that people/markets behaved rationally based on self interest. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Jim Grinstead