This synopsis was originally published on Code Sport in December 2015. It is based on an April 2015 post from Nick Kolenda. It was inspired by a student I interviewed in December 2015 for a software engineering and teaching internship with Code Sport.
1: Reduce the Left Digit By One
Our brains encode numbers so quickly (and beyond consciousness) that we encode the size of a number before we finish reading it. Thomas and Morwitz (2005) explain that:
“…while evaluating “2.99,” the magnitude encoding process starts as soon as our eyes encounter the digit “2.” Consequently, the encoded magnitude of $2.99 gets anchored on the leftmost digit (i.e., $2) and becomes significantly lower than the encoded magnitude of $3.00” (pp. 55).
2: Use the Right Amount of “Roundedness”
avoid rounded price intervals (e.g., $100, $5,000). People assume that those prices are artificially higher, as if they were plucked from thin air (Janiszewski & Uy, 2008).
If your purchase is based on rationale, then add some cents.
3: Choose Numbers With Fewer Syllables
People will perceive your price to be lower if it contains fewer syllables. Even if two prices have the same written length (e.g., $27.82 vs. $28.16), people perceive the phonetically shorter price to be lower in magnitude.