After about 36 hours during which my brain put on a good imitation of an impacted fur ball, the head has started to clear although the rest of the body is slow to follow. But it’s opening day at the legislature, and I’m on tap to have my camera available as people come to visit our office.
We were shocked yesterday morning to learn that the Waikiki store where shots were fired during an armed robbery is owned by friends here in Kaaawa who we see on our walk almost daily.
Did you happen to see the story about the research by a group at Cal Tech and Stanford which found that brain chemistry kicks and provides more pleasure when we drink what we think is an expensive wine?
“Contrary to the basic assumptions of economics, several studies have provided behavioral evidence that marketing actions can successfully affect experienced pleasantness by manipulating nonintrinsic attributes of goods. For example, knowledge of a beer’s ingredients and brand can affect reported taste quality, and the reported enjoyment of a film is influenced by expectations about its quality,” the researchers said. “Even more intriguingly, changing the price at which an energy drink is purchased can influence the ability to solve puzzles.”
ScienceBlogs.com provides some additional mind-bending information.
Baba Shiv, a co-author on the recent wine study, has previously shown how price can warp our consumer decisions. He supplied people with an “energy” drink that was supposed to make them feel more alert and energetic. Some participants paid full price for the drinks, while others were offered a discount. The participants were then asked to solve a series of word puzzles. To Shiv’s surprise, the people who paid discounted prices consistently solved fewer puzzles than the people who paid full price for the drinks. The subjects were convinced that the stuff on sale was much less potent, even though all the drinks were identical. “We ran the study again and again, not sure if what we got had happened by chance or fluke,” Shiv says. “But every time we ran it we got the same results.”
You can read a free version of the study here.
And here’s how one company is pitching an unusual product as embodying “the ancient art of the Hula”: The Hawaii Chair helps you “hula your way to a slimmer you” with its 2800 RPM Hula motor “without actually having to work out.”