Numbers and Opinions (06-04-18)

Huang and Gong investigated human responses to particular types of numbers.  They determined that  “numbers that are slightly above a numerical category boundary (e.g., 1001 in comparison to 1000) . . . are arousal-inducing, and . . . the heightened arousal . . . increase[s] consumers’ wanting but not liking. . . consumers are more likely to choose and willing to pay more for products associated with a number with minimal deviation from a categorical border [in other words, 1001, in the example provided], regardless of whether the number represents product quantity, brand name, or model series. . . . the effect can be reversed when minimal deviation is embedded in certain attribute dimensions (e.g., price).”  

Yunhui Huang and Han Gong. “The Minimal Deviation Effect: Numbers Just Above a Categorical Boundary Enhance Consumer Desire.”  Journal of Consumer Research, https://doi.org/10.1093/jcr/ucy048.