This episode is a discussion on the principle of scarcity. Kurt and Tim illuminate the power of this very fundamental effect in behavioral science with some real-world examples. Simply put, the scarcity effect is that people want more of those things they can have less of. It’s terribly powerful and is evident in many aspects of our lives.
“Sale ends tomorrow” is one of the strongest tools in a marketer’s handbook, and Kurt and Tim discuss that and others and the ways they impact behavior. We also talk about the implications of scarcity and how scarcity helps us prioritize and can actually increase focus in our lives.
This episode is the third in our series on the Principles of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini, PhD. The other principles from Cialdini’s work have been discussed in previous episodes and you can check them out at the Behavioral Grooves website. The principle of Reciprocity was overviewed in episode #57 and the principle of Consistency was discussed through the lens of politicians and politics in episode #49. Please check them out if you’re interested in Cialdini’s Persuasion Principles.
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Principles of Persuasion – Robert Cialdini, PhD: https://www.influenceatwork.com/principles-of-persuasion/
Stephen Worchel, Jerry Lee & Akanbi Adawole, (1975) “Effects of supply and demand on ratings of object value” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 32(5), 906-914. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1976-03817-001
Sendhil Mullainathan& Eldar Shafir, (2013) Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much, Times Books. https://www.amazon.com/Scarcity-Having-Little-Means-Much/dp/0805092641/ref=tmm_hrd_title_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=
Tim Urban blog: Wait But Why? https://waitbutwhy.com/
Check out the Behavioral Grooves website: https://behavioralgrooves.com/