Over on You Are Not So Smart, David McRaney has an excellent explanation of The Anchoring Effect along with examples.
You walk into a clothing store and see what is probably the most bad ass leather jacket you’ve ever seen.
You try it on, look in the mirror and decide you must have it. While wearing this item, you imagine onlookers will clutch their chests and gasp every time you walk into a room or cross a street.You lift the sleeve to check the price – $1,000.
Well, that’s that, you think. You start to head back to the hanger when a salesperson stops you.
“You like it?”
“I love it, but it’s just too much.”
“No, that jacket is on sale right now for $400.”
Its expensive, and you don’t need it really, but $600 off the price seems like a great deal for a coat which will increase your cool by a factor of 11.
You put it on the card, unaware you’ve been tricked by the oldest retail con in the business
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1 week ago