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View Poll Results: Which of the following would you do?
Buy the truffles in both scenarios 18 35.29%
Buy the Hershey kiss in both scenarios 27 52.94%
Buy the truffle in the first scenario, kiss in the second 5 9.80%
Buy the kiss in the first scenario, truffle in second 1 1.96%
Voters: 51. You may not vote on this poll

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Behavioral Economics: Buying Candy Poll
Old 05-31-2008, 09:30 AM   #1
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Behavioral Economics: Buying Candy Poll

Okay, so it's been over 30 years since I graduated college (that was so not fun to type), but that doesn't mean that there's no psych major left in me. I still find stuff like this intriguing, so humor me.

An article in Time reviewed a book on behavioral economics called Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely, He describes the 'science of decision-making that unmasks the ways that emotionas, social norms, expectations and context lead us astray."

The book describes a social science experiment that went this way:

When people were asked if they would like a 15 cent Lindt truffle or 1 cent Hershey kiss, 73% noted that they would buy the truffle. When a penny was dropped off the price of each so that the truffle became 14 cents and the Hershey's kiss became free, only 31% chose the truffle.

The point of it was that "we often show bad judgment in life, like allotting too much value to things that are free."

So---since we board members are a little different from the average population, I thought it would be interesting to see whether we follow a similar pattern.
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Old 05-31-2008, 09:39 AM   #2
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Hmmmm...

I think I would have bought the kiss.... and might have spent 15 cents to buy 15 of them....

If free.... I would not have taken 15, but would have taken a 'handful'....


The data that would interest me is at what price I would have bought the truffle.... the are 'bigger' and 'better'... so there is a higher price for them
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Old 05-31-2008, 10:31 AM   #3
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I'd have bought both the truffle and the kiss both times.
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Old 05-31-2008, 10:53 AM   #4
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I don't really know what a Lindt truffle would taste like. I have never had one though I'm sure I would find them to be heavenly.

I wish I could eat stuff like that! I probably wouldn't buy either one and I probably wouldn't take the free Hershey's kiss, either.
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Old 05-31-2008, 11:14 AM   #5
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I'm taking the free Hershey's kiss and I'll take W2R's too since she doesn't want it (I hate to see chocolate wasted)

Why would so many more people in the original stufy choose the 15 cent truffle over the 1 cent kiss anyway? Aren't they also ascribing value based on higher price? If it costs more it must be worth more (unless the competition is completely free?)?
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Old 05-31-2008, 11:25 AM   #6
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Wow, if 1 cent buys a kiss, I'd have brought a dollar to the party and had a ball.

. . . leaving now.
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Old 05-31-2008, 11:47 AM   #7
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Whoa, a kiss for 0 cents is not a "buy". Though I'll take all the free kisses I can get, with a few truffles bought. From the sales girl that is. Either version of the kiss is fine. Not at all irrational!

Sounds like some academic exercise, with no bases in reality. Furthermore if you get something useful, free and you perceive value in it, all the better.
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Old 05-31-2008, 12:36 PM   #8
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None of the above, don't eat sugar/chocolate.

Suppose I could take the free one and give it away.
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Old 05-31-2008, 12:45 PM   #9
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I have never heard of a Lindt truffle, but I assume that is some kind of tricked-out candy that is relatively expensive. That said, if I am going to buy only one piece of candy @ 15/14 cents vs 1/free cents, I would risk it all on the unknown fancy confection in both scenarios and leave the kiss on the tray for next guy.

Call me an adventurist willing to live on the edge.
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Old 05-31-2008, 02:04 PM   #10
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Not knowing what a Lindt truffle is I picked the Hershey kisses. I know I like those. I might even share one with my wife.
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Old 05-31-2008, 03:41 PM   #11
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DW would buy the truffle both times, the Hershey's Kiss is not worth it. I on the other hand would get neither, I don't like chocolate.
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Old 05-31-2008, 04:10 PM   #12
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I'd buy the truffle either time, but if the kisses were free, I'd grab up some of those also! I really like truffles, and though I've had Lindt truffles, we usually go to the Russell Stover's Outlet Stores and buy theirs!

My Dad used to say "If it's free take it.....even if it's just a book of matches."
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Old 05-31-2008, 04:47 PM   #13
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Hershey's chocolate tastes crappy even if it's free. I would take the truffle both times.
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Old 05-31-2008, 06:25 PM   #14
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Lindt is one of my favorite brands. Truffles are my favorite chocolate treat. No decision for me: truffles it is all the way, and damn the expense! (I agree with Gumby: Hershey tastes like cheap, greasy chocolate.)
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Old 05-31-2008, 08:16 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goonie View Post
My Dad used to say "If it's free take it.....even if it's just a book of matches."
This was my first reaction as well. If the kiss is free in the second case, why not take both?

But this does bring up an interesting question. Have you ever refused an item even though it was free? In American culture, it often feels like to not take something that's free (assuming it's not harmful or utterly valueless) is like leaving money on the table, even if it's not particularly useful to you.
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Old 05-31-2008, 08:54 PM   #16
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Lindtis overrated, IMHO. I would take the kisses in both cases. A crateful in second since there is an infinite demand for a free good.
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Old 05-31-2008, 09:16 PM   #17
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Both items in the second scenario. Take the free one and buy th truffle.
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Old 05-31-2008, 11:20 PM   #18
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I'll take both also. Although I'd bet box of truffles to a box of Hershey's kisses that both was not an option in the survey.


The folks on the board are lousy at following directions.
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Old 06-01-2008, 01:51 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DroopyDog View Post
This was my first reaction as well. If the kiss is free in the second case, why not take both?

But this does bring up an interesting question. Have you ever refused an item even though it was free? In American culture, it often feels like to not take something that's free (assuming it's not harmful or utterly valueless) is like leaving money on the table, even if it's not particularly useful to you.

YES... a lot of places have those red mints (and some are green).... I NEVER take them unless I know someone with me wants them.... but I don't care for them..... and a few times there are some white 'mint' that is chalky ... man it is awful stuff....
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Old 06-01-2008, 06:18 AM   #20
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Unfortunately your poll has two things going on at once, so the results probably won't answer your question - and the results so far seem to confirm. The other variable as you've framed it is whether the commodity is desirable or not to the consumer. If you like/value chocolate you probably went for the Lindt truffle no matter what. If you don't like/don't value chocolate you probably went for the Hershey's Kiss no matter what. You'd have to choose a commodity that everyone valued or didn't value to get at the 'free' behavior - not sure what it would be, maybe milk or some essential item. I know, TMI...
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