February 27, 2011


mind the gap: knowing vs doingWhat we do isn't always logical because we aren't Vulcans or computers. How would you answer the following three questions? How would your spouse?

Question 1

Would you rather buy an item
A) here for $100 or
B) nearby for $50?

The $50 difference looks huge. Depending on your perspective, you could buy the item for half the price nearby or double the price here.

Question 2

Would you rather buy an item
A) here for $1,000 or
B) nearby for $950

Now the gap doesn't seem as big but is the same $50. The seller has a better of chance of getting you to buy here.

Question 3

Would you rather buy a house
A) here for $299,900 or
B) nearby for $295,500
Assume that all other factors are the same.

The gap looks tiny in comparison to the overall price. Yet the gap is $4,400. That's enough to buy you four each of items 1 and 2 at full price. You could easily get four of the best iPad and lots of nifty apps.


We make odd decisions (or know others who do). How did you make your last $500 purchase?

Would you spend a bonus or lottery winnings as carefully as your hard-earned money? Maybe not, but money is money.

Perhaps you haggle over price but agree to hefty delivery charges, expensive financing or costly extended warranties. Maybe you get a nice deal on a new car but lose on your trade-in.

If a stock drops in value, do you sell or wait for it to return to the purchase price. The stock has no memory of the starting point, but we do.

Our foibles interfere with our decisions and can be used to manipulate us. Unless we're vigilant.


Podcast Episode 106 (3:03)

direct download | Internet Archive page

PS When the police nab a speeder, we're attentive … for a while.

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