Thursday, April 5, 2018

Consider Contagious Magic Low Among Seniors

Contagious magic refers to the belief that two inanimate objects which are close exert a strong influence on each other.
  • Researchers at Yale University and Bar-Ilan University found that people place a higher value on items if they had been used by a well-regarded celebrity like George Clooney than if by someone with an evil reputation like Saddam Hussein. The difference faded if people were told the item had been thoroughly cleaned. 
  • Researchers at Arizona State University and New Zealand’s University of Aukland saw how a guitar purchaser said having a respected rock star sign the guitar caused the guitar to produce better music. This was especially true when the guitar was a replica of the instrument used by the rock star. 
     Because contagious magic is common among consumers and often operates below the level of conscious awareness, wise retailers take it into account when influencing shoppers to make objectively valid purchase decisions. However, a set of studies at Duke University and Davidson College indicates you need not be so concerned about contagious magic when selling to seniors. The assessment questionnaire included items like “You’re better off avoiding fruit and vegetables that were touched by a bad person” and “The chances of a recipe going wrong increase when an unlucky cook helps to assemble the ingredients.” Those over 70 years old were less likely to agree with the items than were young adults.
     Two factors help explain these results. One, which seems obvious when you think about it, is that seniors have had more life experiences. Black cats crossed their paths many times without dire consequences and countless tasty meals have been assembled with the help of people largely unsuccessful in life and including produce having been touched by God knows who. The other factor which appeared in the studies is less obvious: Contagious magic depends on a consumer aiming for control in uncertain purchasing circumstances, and the psychology of senior citizens is to be less concerned with negative consequences than are younger adults.
     There are circumstances in which older adults fail to objectively evaluate probabilities. They’re more likely than younger adults to believe in the basketball hot hand—that a player is more likely to get the ball through the hoop after making several successful shots than after missing one. The hot hand belief has been debunked by research. But so has the assumption of prevalent senior superstitions.

For your success: Retailer’s Edge: Boost Profits Using Shopper Psychology

Click below for more: 
Catch the Power of Contagion
Transform Shoppers with Magical Thinking
Cool Barriers to Senior Shopper Momentum

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