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Absolute Value - What Really Influences Customers in the Age of (Nearly) Perfect Information by Emanuel Rosen, Itamar Simonson

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2

THE DECLINE OF “IRRATIONALITY”

A FUNNY THING has happened to the concept of “irrationality”: Over the past four decades, thousands of experiments have suggested that by changing things like the context or framing of an offer, marketers can easily sway people to act in “irrational” ways. In the past few years, this idea has started percolating into the mainstream. Ironically, just as the concept is gaining popularity, it’s becoming less representative of reality.

It’s easier to be rational when you rely on absolute values.

No, we’re not suggesting that people will start behaving fully rationally (the way economists assume they would) anytime soon, that any basic cognitive abilities are changing, or that they will be totally immune to manipulation. ...

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