Behaviour Change

PROPAGANDA FOR CHANGE is a project created by the students of Behaviour Change (ps359) and Professor Thomas Hills @thomhills at the Psychology Department of the University of Warwick. This work was supported by funding from Warwick's Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

SALE NOW (always) ON!!!!!!!!

Are you thinking about buying a new sofa? I’ve heard DFS have a sale on. Since before the 90s.

But don’t feel rushed into buying it, it’s unlikely to end any time soon; a sale is on 364 days a year (They’re closed on Christmas). However, a sale implies that the prices will not always be this cheap, heaping pressure on you to make a purchase. When this happens, the amount of information you can process decreases (Iyer, 1989), meaning you are much more likely to make a heuristics based decision (Kahneman, 2011), not taking into account important details such as quality of the pieces in question (which apparently isn’t great).
                However, this tactic isn’t just effective because it rushes your decision. By implying that the sofas are worth more than they are sold for by effectively pretending to have them on sale, a favourable comparison point is established. By doing this, consumers think that they are getting a bargain, when in reality they are buying a product for the price that it was always intended to be sold at.

                Basically, this sale doesn’t exist. But by making you think that it does, you’re rushed into buying a product for a ‘cheaper’ price. However, at least offering four years free credit makes falling for their ploy easier to afford…


Iyer, E. S. (1989). Unplanned purchasing: Knowledge of shopping environment and time pressure. Journal of retailing, 65, 40-57.

Kahneman, D. (2011). Thinking, fast and slow. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

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