Is the Price Right?
It's All in the Mind
Sticker price. Minimum payments. 20-percent off. Take all those numbers away, and experts say you'd probably become a smarter shopper.
Psychologists call it the 'anchor effect.' It's when your brain zeroes in on a certain number, and that limits your ability to judge the real value of things.
For instance a psychologist at the University of Warwick says people would pay more on their monthly credit card debt if they didn't see a minimum payment on the bill. Paying more makes money sense, because you wind up paying less on interest.
And those sticker prices on cars? People see the price... and start negotiating from there. But without the dealer's starting price, the experts say that buyers would do their own research, and may arrive at a completely different price on their own.