Relativity Trap/Anchoring Effect


I can buy a brand name computer at 50% off.  Sure I’m spending more than I budgeted, but for the savings I cannot scoff.  You’re in a Relativity Trap… I’m not trapped… I’m buying a new computer… But you ARE caught… We make comparisons cheap or expensive on whatever is bought.   We compare everything, even ourselves, all the time.   Yes, we’re trapped in a “comparison net.” We unconsciously gauge an item or person’s value, by related numbers or achievements that are obvious or sublime. This phenomenon is called the Relativity Trap.  That  explains why  comparisons affect the  way  we  make  our decisions known. Also identified as anchoring effect or focalism, the Relativity Trap regards things and individuals in life relatively… comparing differences…. instead of evaluating each entity or person’s value on its own.

The Relativity Trap isn’t limited to items on sale. For instance, if a coffee house sells a “presidential supreme latte coffee” for $18.00 and a regular supreme for $6.00 the $6.00 regular will likely be a best seller without fail. Presidential supreme makes regular appear reasonable in contrast… even though customarily $6.00 is a hefty price for a regular coffee no matter who is asked.  Restaurant owners and savvy marketers widely exploit the relativity trap.  When viewing a sales flyer or food menu we neglect considering individual price value and focus on a price difference gap. Retailers coax us into making spending decisions that maximize their net gain… For instance, when reviewing food menus, we often select middle priced entrees…  not too expensive… not too cheap but unknown to us… midland options are usually ones that provide retailer’s the profit they’re trying to attain)…

When it comes to the Relativity Trap, whether we compare ourselves to others, try to keep up with the Jones’, seek sales flyers for great deals, or find winning any award that’s less than first place is really losing it’s a Funny Feeling to know that usually once our mind has a value or a number anchor SET… there’s a strong bias toward that value or number being MET

Copyright 2017 Alan P. Xenakis, MD, Doc X MD Funny Feelings  

Relativity Trap Doc X MD and Audra RN Funny Feelings©

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