Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Small sounds, big deals: How do number sounds influence consumers?

Date:
January 21, 2010
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
Consumers remember the sounds of numbers in prices and associate certain sounds with value, according to a new study.

Consumers remember the sounds of numbers in prices and associate certain sounds with value, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Related Articles


Authors Keith S. Coulter (Clark University) and Robin A. Coulter (University of Connecticut) studied the ability of number-sounds to convey meaning and influence price perceptions.

Previous research has demonstrated that people associate certain vowel and consonant sounds with perceptions of physical size. For example, front vowels (like a long a, e, i) and fricatives (like the English f, z, and s) have been shown to convey smallness, while back vowels (sounds like the /u/ in goose or the sound in foot) indicate largeness.

"Phonetic symbolism affects price perceptions because consumers typically process, encode, and retain numbers (and hence prices) in memory in multiple formats," the authors write. Consumers encode what a price looks like and sounds like along with a relative numeric value that the price represents (such as, "It is inexpensive").

"Thus, sounds associated with the auditory representation can impact the numeric value associated with the analog representation -- that is, small sounds can create the impression of big deals," the authors write.

The authors found that number-sound effects were more likely to occur when a frame of reference (a regular price) was provided. And sometimes, the sounds of numbers created false impressions of value. For example, participants perceived a $10 item marked down to $7.66 to be a greater discount than a $10 item discounted to $7.22.

"Number sounds impact price magnitude perceptions only when consumers mentally rehearse a sale price, as they might do when comparing items on a shopping trip," the authors write. "Further, mental rehearsal of the same sale prices characterized by small phonemes in one language and large phonemes in another language can yield differential effects."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Chicago Press Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Keith S. Coulter and Robin A. Coulter. Small Sounds, Big Deals: Phonetic Symbolism Effects in Pricing. Journal of Consumer Research, In print August 2010

Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Press Journals. "Small sounds, big deals: How do number sounds influence consumers?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 January 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100119111051.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2010, January 21). Small sounds, big deals: How do number sounds influence consumers?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100119111051.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "Small sounds, big deals: How do number sounds influence consumers?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100119111051.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

Academic Scandal Shocks UNC

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) A scandal involving bogus classes and inflated grades at the University of North Carolina was bigger than previously reported, a new investigation found. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Feast your eyes on this gorgeous family-friendly resort. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
What Your Favorite Color Says About You

What Your Favorite Color Says About You

Buzz60 (Oct. 22, 2014) We all have one color we love to wear, and believe it or not, your color preference may reveal some of your character traits. In celebration of National Color Day, Krystin Goodwin (@kyrstingoodwin) highlights what your favorite colors may say about you. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins