The New York Times:
In these final weeks before the holidays, it may strike you that retailers have gone out of their way to make holiday shopping as unpleasant an experience as possible. The odd truth is that they probably have. And there’s a reason for that: evidence suggests that the less comfortable you are during the seasonal shopping spree, the more money you’ll spend.
In a vivid demonstration of the effect in 1999, the psychologists Barbara Price Davis and Eric W. Knowles sent researchers door to door, selling holiday cards for charity. When they described the price as $3 for one package of cards, 35 percent of people decided to buy. But when they described the same offer in terms of “300 pennies,” and then added a clarifying coda — “It’s a bargain!” — their success rate shot up to 65 percent.
Read the whole story: The New York Times