Category Archives: Consumer Psychology

You can’t put a price on a rivalry game.

This was originally blogged at IonPsych on 3/9/2011 with the title “March Madness: Priceless for Some, Overpriced for Others.” I’ve decided to re-post it from the archives today, in honor of the fact that tonight is the 2nd Duke-Carolina game of the season. You can see the original post here. And, as always, Go Duke!

When I was in college, I slept outside in a tent almost every night during the 2 coldest months of the year.

OK, before you call me crazy, there’s more to the story.

I actually did this for four years in a row.

And all four years, this ‘tenting’ experience that cost me quality sleep, socially acceptable hygiene habits, and at least a few tenths of my cumulative GPA was all for a two-hour basketball game.

Alright. I guess that doesn’t make me sound much saner. Unless I tell you it was for the annual home Duke-UNC game. Then it might make me sound a BIT more rational. But probably not, unless you’re a Duke or Carolina alum.

Here’s what I can tell you, though – I don’t regret a single second of it. In fact, it’s one of my fondest college memories. And if I had the chance to sell my spot at that game, even for a few thousand dollars, I never would have taken it. Continue reading

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From The Archives: Labels and logos? Looks like you’re powerless.

Ed. Note: This is a post from the archives; it was originally blogged at IonPsych on 2/10/2011.

You can see the original post here.

Imagine a woman who wanders into your local coffee shop with this bag thrown over her shoulder. What would you think of her? Well, you might think a lot of things — but more specifically, what would you think about her level of status or power relative to others?

How about a man who walks in wearing this belt? The brand is pretty prominently displayed; even if you don’t know much about the name, you can tell it’s probably expensive. He clearly wants you to know what brand it is. How powerful do you think he is?

If you’re like most others – or if you’re drawing the obvious conclusions that these hypothetical people are aiming for you to draw – you probably think they’re pretty powerful. But you probably aren’t right. Continue reading

Want to read faster, think more creatively, and be a better person? Buy more brand-name stuff.

Note: I’m in the depths of finishing up some summer projects and studying for my qualifying exams, so this seems like a good time to bring out a post from the archives. This was originally blogged at IonPsych on 2/4/2011…and was actually my first-ever blog post!

What are some consequences of eating too much fast food?

Weight gain? Check. Higher cholesterol? Check.

Increased reading speed?

Wait. Back up.

Yes – as it turns out, fast food can have consequences that reach far beyond the bigger-bellied symptoms that we already know to look out for. Those iconographic golden arches may be so inherently related to concepts of haste, time efficiency, and instant gratification that simply being exposed to them can influence more than just our eating behavior. Continue reading

Beautiful people, beautiful products.

Today I’m excited to repost a guest post that I wrote earlier this week for Lovely At Your Side, a lifestyle blog hosted by one of my best friends from high school, Jenny, and her equally-lovely sister Olivia. As their site frequently covers topics related to fashion and shopping, I wrote a post for them on the psychology behind using beautiful people in advertisements. The post discusses how pretty faces influence our product evaluations – and how the way we feel about ourselves might impact this process more than we realize.

You can see the post on their site (linked here), and it is also reprinted below in its entirety.

Continue reading