字幕列表 影片播放 列印英文字幕 RON WILCOX: As I drove home from work one day, I reminded myself that my wife had an appointment to get her hair cut. It would be good, I thought, to make a positive comment when I walk in the door. When I walked in, I looked at her hair and had absolutely no idea whether or not she had it cut. Should I risk making a positive comment, only to learn that her appointment had been canceled, and be exposed for the well-intentioned fake that I am? I didn't want to do that, so I remained silent and later found out that she did get her hair cut, and I didn't notice. It turns out that my lack of perception is rooted in some basic psychology that also occurs when we consider the prices we see when we go shopping. If you see a friend who normally wears their hair long and they got a couple of inches cut off, you may not notice. If you see another friend who wears their hair short and they got a couple of inches cut off, you will certainly notice right away. Similarly, if you see a sale for $1 off on a box of cereal, that might seem like a good deal-- a purchase worth making given the amount of money saved. But if you happen to see a sale for $1 off on a nice shirt, you'd probably laugh at it. It would seem almost trivial. We tend to experience many changes in life this way. Changes seem big or small depending on how big or small the current situation is. However, the dollar you're saving is the same dollar whether you save it on a box of cereal or a shirt. It just seems different in the context of different sized purchases. The famous psychologist Max Weber studied this kind of effect and found that it was true in a lot of situations, which leads to some important behavioral phenomena that we all need to watch out for. When we spend a lot of money, it is very easy to spend even more. When you buy a car for perhaps $20,000, you will be offered add-ons-- things that you might purchase to make the car a little bit nicer. On any other day, paying $150 for a leather wrapped steering wheel might seem completely ridiculous, but not today. Today you just spent $20,000. What's $150 more? Formally, this effect is known as the Weber-Fechner Law of Pricing. It simply means that we tend to view prices not in absolute terms, but relative to other prices we are thinking about at that moment. Let's do some very quick math to help us understand the Weber-Fechner Law of Pricing. Let's call the price we are currently thinking about p. It may be the price of a car, a shirt, whatever. We will only pay attention to a change in the price we are considering if it is greater than some proportion. Let's call that k. So the change in p divided by p has to be greater than k for us to notice. Now that doesn't mean we're all the same. Some people have really big k's and others, very small. The big k people don't notice relative price differences until they get really big, like 50% off or something like that. The small k people are the real price shoppers. If they see even a small relative price change, they will notice it. But whether you are a big k person or a small k person, the Weber-Fechner Law still holds. You will tend to pay attention to price changes only if the change seems big enough relative to the price you were thinking about at the moment. This means that whenever you are spending a lot of money, you should be extra careful about upgrades, add-ons, extended warranties, any of the kind of extras that might tempt you to spend a little more. Because in that moment you are considering big prices. And these extra costs, by comparison, may seem small. But those extra dollars you are spending are the same dollars that might seem important when you are considering smaller purchases, like that box of cereal that you buy on a regular basis. If you understand the Weber-Fechner Law of Pricing, more of your money might stay in your wallet.