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Lecture 10

Lecture 10 Review: Scarcity

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Psychology 3721F/G
Nelson Heapy

Chapter 10 Review: Scarcity Reactance  Losing freedom o Situation where people hate to lose their freedom o Dealing with something that is in sort supply – we hate to be put in a situation where our freedom to choose is limited  The terrible twos o Up until the age of 2, children are delightful o Around the age of 2, children figure out that the way the act can manipulate people to do what they want o Study is set up so that children are going to be led into a play room with toys that have been pre- tested to determine that they are in fact all roughly equal in attractive to 2 year olds o One of these toys is put behind a Plexiglas barrier – just covering the front of the toy, can go around the barrier but stills serves an an impediment to get what they want o If you try to put a limit on what they have access to, that item becomes considerable more attractive to them and they attempt to get it any way that they can o Also the basis of human adult thinking – censoring something makes it more attractive (movies, pornography, alcohol, etc.) o If you censor content of any kind, you will inevitably make something more attractive than it was originally  Suds o There was a great deal of phosphate detergent from dishwashers, washing machines, etc. that produce too much nutrition in the lakes that our water drains to o The algae eat this nutrition and reduce the oxygen in the water which ends up killing the animals that live in the lake o Started to ban phosphate detergents and created non-phosphate detergents but were not considered as good as those with phosphate in them o There was a broad reaction to this new law – large caravans created that would go to adjacent counties where phosphate detergents were not illegal o By telling people that they couldn’t have phosphate detergent and the lingering belief that it may work a little better this introduced a greater appeal whereby people were breaking the law to retrieve it  Guns o There was a county in Illinois that required people to buy some fort of handgun – a reaction to an order that had been passed in Chicago that limited the ability of people to acquire some sort of firearms o County in Illinois introduced a law to buy some sort of gun to off put the Chicago law o Test of the reactance idea – because they are required to buy a gun, people would not buy them o But in fact, the number of people going to firearms store increased dramatically – looked like an example that ‘the exception proves the rule’ – by requiring people to have a gun, it lead in the number of people visiting gun stores o The largest number of people being recorded going in to these stores were in fact tourists, not locals o The total number of guns bought actually went down in this county o Even in cases where people are required by law to do perverse things, people will react against them  How to make lousy cookies really desirable – The Cookie Study o The cookie study involves conditions where people have available to them cookies while doing another task o In one condition, you have available to you while you are doing a task a cookie jar that is full of cookies o In a second condition, you have the same task and cookie jar but it is filled with fewer cookies o Told that you can have access to the cookies as you are doing the task o Consistent with the idea of scarcity, in the condition where there were few cookies, these cookies were rated more desirable than the condition where there were lots of cookies o Scarcity created the impression that they were more desirable than usual because they were scarce o The interesting condition was the third condition that included ‘newly created scarcity’ – a large cookie jar with large amounts of cookies was in the room o After the task was given, suddenly someone comes in and takes a lot of the cookies away for another st
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