The psychology of psychological pricing

Presentation of iPhones at an official Apple event.
Presentation of iPhones at an official Apple event.
Photo: Screenshot by the author from Apple on YouTube

We’ve all seen how most products have a price ending with a 99. It has been going for over a century now. This tactic is frequently used in advertisements everywhere around the world. Let’s dive a little bit deeper into the world of psychological pricing.

The Psychology Behind It

This tactic is based on the fact that, as we read things from left to right, the first number we see has a greater impact on us. So if something has a price of $19.99, instead of $20, you might be influenced by the “1” at the beginning, and pay for it as it’s lesser than “2.” …

We need to understand the importance of boredom

A girl thinking and looking out the window of a car.
A girl thinking and looking out the window of a car.
Photo by Anastasia Shuraeva on Pexels

In a study, participants were told to sit in a room doing nothing for 15 minutes. In that room, there was also a button which would electrically shock them. They could choose to click that button at their own will. 67% of men and 25% of women pressed that button. It goes to show how much we hate boredom. We hate it so much that we can choose pain over boredom.

So, we try to avoid it as much as we can. Avoiding boredom has never been easier because we’ve got so many things to do. We try to keep doing something in our free time, whether it is scrolling through social media, watching a badass movie, or binge-watching shows on Netflix. …

How to make the right decisions in a panic

A guy in a white shirt who is in stress.
A guy in a white shirt who is in stress.
Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

Some months ago, I had my final chemistry exams. I was all prepared and reached the school an hour before everyone. As I got there so early, I was roaming around. There was still an hour left before the exam started. While I was walking, I saw something that turned the world upside down for me.

I saw a guy holding an entry card. The card that I needed to get into the examination hall. …

Why people in Blue Zones live so long

An old woman wearing a traditional dress and smiling.
An old woman wearing a traditional dress and smiling.
Photo by Shreya Sharma on Unsplash

Have you wondered where people live the longest? All of us want to live a long and healthy life. So, I went on a quest. Actually, someone had already discovered these places, so my “quest” was a simple Google search.

I came to know that people in the Blue Zones lived the longest. These Blue Zones were found by National Geographic writer Dan Buettner. There are a total of 5 Blue Zones, and they are Okinawa (Japan), Nicoya (Costa Rica), Icaria (Greece), Sardinia (Italy), and Loma Linda (United States).

These are the places where people usually live to be a hundred. So why do people live the longest in these places? Let’s face it: we can never know what exactly will make us live longer. It’s not just the gene lottery. Some studies show that genes cause only about 25 percent variation in life expectancy. …

Domino’s Pizza’s viral marketing campaign that backfired pretty quickly

Picture of 2 people having pizza in the sun.
Picture of 2 people having pizza in the sun.
Photo by Maksim Goncharenok on Pexels

Pizza — it’s irresistible, but it’s not free. But what if someone told you could get 100 free pizzas every year for 100 years if you tattooed yourself with a Domino’s Pizza’s logo?

For most of us, that’s a hard choice. But it wasn’t that hard of a choice for hundreds of people in Russia who started putting photos of themselves tattooed with the brand’s logo for free food.

The Campaign

Domino’s Pizza launched a marketing campaign in Russia where people could get 100 free pizzas for 100 years if they tattooed themselves with the brand’s logo and posted those pictures on social media with the hashtag #DominosForver. …

Little things matter more than you think.

A little kid playing with colors.
A little kid playing with colors.
Photo by Senjuti Kundu on Unsplash

I remember being a kid. I was interested in everything. I remember dancing with the tiny dust particles that I saw come through the window in the sunlight. I was so lost that my friend had to call me several times before I actually heard him. The particles moved with me, and I was fascinated.

I talked to everyone, joked around, and made everyone laugh. I still remember some of my jokes. I couldn’t overthink anything. Thoughts raced through my brain, but they were about different things. I didn’t stick to just one thing.

That child is gone. What remains is an introverted teenager occasionally remembering he’s going to die. When that random spike of energy kicks in, and I am just about to complete something, the existential dread takes me away from the moment. This is a cycle I’m lost in. …

How Obama won people’s hearts using the Internet

A caricature of Barack Obama—looking forward.
A caricature of Barack Obama—looking forward.
Photo by DonkeyHotey licensed under CC BY 2.0

Barack Obama needs no introduction. As the former president of the United States, he is still a very influential personality. But back in early 2008, he was just a senator from Illinois who was not a household name like he is now. So, the recognition didn’t come itself — it had to be earned.

To win the presidential election of 2008, he needed to reach out to hundreds of millions of people. He did just that with the power of the Internet. He ruled online platforms like YouTube, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and gained the trust of people.

His competitor John McCain didn’t believe in the Internet so much, though. That benefited Obama because he was getting much more attention than his competitor. …

Paulo Coelho pirates his own books and wants you to do the same

Two Paulo Coelho books with a laptop on a table.
Two Paulo Coelho books with a laptop on a table.
Photo by Vandan Patel on Unsplash

Whenever the word piracy is brought up, we think of it as a problem. And very clearly, it is one because it affects how much artists, producers, writers, musicians earn from their hard work.

Instead of buying their work, people have the option to take the free route. But Paulo Coelho showed how lemonade can be made out of lemons.

In 1999, Paulo Coelho found a pirated Russian translation of his novel, The Alchemist. The sales of the book were not impressive, as they were selling only 1000 copies a year in Russia. …

Chad Chumpkin has found a colorful cure for cancer. Let's learn how he did it.

Two scientists doing research in a lab.
Two scientists doing research in a lab.
Photo by Science in HD on Unsplash

We’ve got some news for you. A man named Chad Chumpkin from UC Berkeley Cancer Research Laboratory has found the cure for cancer! He found the cure for cancer today morning while he was “mixing all the lovely colored liquids.” Let’s talk to him, and his partner, Matthew Smith.

Me: Hello, Mr. Chumpkin. This is a huge breakthrough for humankind. Maybe the greatest we’ve ever seen. How do you feel being the savior of billions of lives?

Mr. Chumpkin: Yeah, it feels awesome. …

The “cheap” advertising campaign that cost Cartoon Network’s head his job

A book about Guerilla Marketing
A book about Guerilla Marketing
Photo by Linus Bohman licensed under CC BY 2.0

On January 31, 2007, at 8:05 a.m., a person in Boston called the police saying that he found a suspicious object on the support of Interstate 93 highway. It had batteries inside it and wires sticking out of it. In just a few minutes, a swarm of fire trucks, police vehicles, bombs squads, and ambulances started coming. People from news channels like CNN also started coming. Boston was terrorized because of this object.

But it was not a bomb. It was actually an LED-powered placard depicting a character from Cartoon Network’s new movie based on the show Aqua Teen Hunger Force. …


Binit Acharya

Walking on the boulevard of life for 18 years and counting...

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