The Power and Danger of FreeAdapted from The 5 Most Persuasive Words in the English Language Gregory Ciotti
A study by Dan Ariely ,first asked people tochoose between a 1 cent Hershey Kiss or a15 cent Lindt truffle (about half its actualvalue, generally considered a richer, superiorchocolate).In other words, tastes were found to be verymuch in favor for the truffle. I mean, who’sgoing to pass up a deal, right?
Later though, another random groupof subjects seemingly flipped ontheir opinion of these two treats.When the price was reduced by onecent for both brands (meaning theKiss was now free), people alteredtheir choices drastically.
Although in the first test it appearswe simply can’t pass up a deal, as itturns out, we really can’t pass up asteal. Although the relation in pricesremained the same (a 14 centdifference between the two), peoplechose the Kiss far more often when itwas free.
Everybody loves free.People love free stuff so much they’llactually make different choices, evenwhen the respective value of the item orservice remains the same.Dan Ariely revealed this startling fact inhis book Predictably Irrational, where heexamined a very unusual “battle”between Lindt chocolate truffles andHershey Kisses.
The Power and Danger of Free As we’ve seen here, there is a certain danger in offering things for nothing . Having something for free will attract morepeople. But that will most certainly include a fair share of “bargain hunters” who aren’t likely to turn into people who take responsibility for their own achievements.