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Do Hand-Written Discounts Seem Better?

I received an email with an advertisement for a sale where the discount was made to appear to be hand-written.  I wonder what affect that has on perceptions of the promotion.

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People search for meaning when they approach a new decade in chronological age

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Adam Alter and Hal Hershfield have a study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences showing people search for meaning when they approach a new decade in chronological age.[1]


  1. A.L. Alter, and H.E. Hershfield, "People search for meaning when they approach a new decade in chronological age: Table 1.", Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, vol. 111, pp. 17066-17070, 2014.
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Meet Yourself 20 Years in the Future

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European telecommunications company Orange partnered with Paris-based advertising agency Publicis Conseil and Toronto-based digital design agency Jam3 to create a surreal digital experience that allows users to speak with a simulated version of themselves 20 years in the future. The result, which is part of Orange’s 20th anniversary #futureself campaign, uses a combination of aging simulation and 3D rendering technologies to essentially allow folks to question their future selves.

Talk to your future self.

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Is There a Buying Mindset?

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Clinical Professor of Marketing at NYU Stern Scott Galloway predicts that “buy” buttons on Facebook may not be effective, as buyers may not be in the mood to buy. His comments raise bigger questions about mindsets more generally, and how they influence consumer behavior.


Counterbalanced Choice in Qualtrics

Accounting for slight variations in choices which are intended to be “the same”

This article outlines a procedure to use in Qualtrics to counterbalance two choices within a single question. This is useful when you are offering a choice between to items which are intended to be the same, with the exception of some experimentally manipulated item. But when you offer two choices, it is obvious your intention if you make them the same, so instead you make them similar. This leads to problems, however. Are differences you see in the data the result of the experimental manipulation or a slight preference for one of the options? You can correct this by counterbalancing, associating your manipulation with one choice to half the participants, and to the other choice with the other half. Here’s how.

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Ann Althouse "Chalk artist"

Fake It ‘Til You Make It

How Can Confidence Hurt Your Organization?

I’ve been thinking a lot about competence lately. Apparently, so have Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner, authors of the new book Think Like a Freak. In their recent podcast, I think the duo missed an important point.

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