Priceless

Priceless

The Myth of Fair Value (and How to Take Advantage of It)

Book - 2010
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Prices are a collective hallucination. Here, author William Poundstone reveals the hidden psychology of value. In psychological experiments, people are unable to estimate "fair" prices accurately and are strongly influenced by the unconscious, irrational, and politically incorrect. It hasn't taken long for marketers to apply these findings. "Price consultants" advise retailers on how to convince consumers to pay more for less, and negotiation coaches offer similar advice for businesspeople cutting deals. The new psychology of price dictates the design of price tags, menus, rebates, "sale" ads, cell phone plans, supermarket aisles, real estate offers, wage packages, tort demands, and corporate buyouts. Prices are the most pervasive hidden persuaders of all. --From publisher description.
Publisher: New York : Hill and Wang, 2010
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780809094691
080909469X
Characteristics: ix, 336 p. : ill. ; 24 cm

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Vito597
Jun 08, 2015

This book was difficult to read because it rarely gave context to the issues presented. The myth was not clearly explained or found to be expected in the first few chapters which made it difficult to continue reading because it didn't get to the point. I did not finish now tho I expect to revisit this book.

mrmervis Feb 16, 2013

Interesting look at the psychology behind pricing and price perceptions.

ksoles May 19, 2011

All the reviews I read of William Poundstone's Priceless made it sound fascinating. The book was touted to reveal the hidden psychology of value by asking questions like, why do Prada retailers never intend to sell their most expensive items? Why do text messages cost money while emails are free? Why do jars of peanut butter keep getting smaller in order to keep the price the same? As the dust jacket reads, "The new psychology of price dictates the design of price tags...cell phone plans, supermarket aisles...tort demands, and corporate buyouts. Prices are the most pervasive hidden persuaders of all. Rooted in the emerging field of behavioral decision theory, Priceless should prove indispensable to anyone who negotiates."

Although I learned interesting things about the manipulability of the human mind, I admit I was disappointed with the book overall. The first part recounts a somewhat dry history of psychophysics and details numerous experiments that prove humans' irrational behaviour when dealing with numbers. Poundstone becomes more absorbing when finally citing real-world examples about menu design, real estate advertisement and legal settlements but, alas, he ultimately lapses into discussion of more abstract experiments. The author writes in an engaging, comprehensive manner (in the style of Malcolm Gladwell) and does include some witticisms and jaw-dropping statistics, making Priceless a worthwhile read if not a smash-hit.

2
21288004246712
Jul 15, 2010

Like reading a series of newspaper columns, could have at least tried a summary or a conclusion, nothing new here.

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