A couple of weeks ago my friend was attempting to convince me to join them on a night out later that week. While I felt pretty indifferent to the night, my friend deployed the persuasion method of scarcity to convince me, informing me that they would run out if I didn't buy one fast.
After this manipulation, the confederate left and the experimenter asked the participant to rate the cookies on scales of liking (1 = very much so, 9 = not at all), attractiveness (1 = extremely attractive, 9 = not at all) and cost (how much should this item cost?). Results can be seen in table 1.
Table 1. Mean scores of liking, attraction and cost across the different conditions.
It is clear from the results that, even without change, the mere fact there are fewer cookies leads to increased liking and attractiveness, but not cost. When change occurs, scarcity increases the price, as well as a larger preference in terms of liking and attraction.
This applies to the persuasion of my friend, whereby the scarcity of the tickets increased my attraction for the event. The results of the above study also suggest that as a result of this persuasion, I would be likely to pay more since they were "running out fast!".
Worchel, S., Lee, J., & Adewole, A. (1975). Effects of supply and demand on ratings of object value. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 32, 906-914.