Why consumers pay more attention to big packaging

Knoxville Times (IANS) Wednesday 16th April, 2014

Be it a lottery ticket or a stock market, packaging them in larger categories may help attract more eyeballs, research shows.

People are more likely to make a prediction about something when it is grouped in a large category of similar items, said the study.

"One factor that can contribute to a person's flawed judgment is categorisation," said Mathew S. Isaac from Seattle University and Aaron R. Brough from Utah State University.

When making a prediction, we can become distracted by how all of the various possibilities are grouped, they said.

In a series of five experiments, the researchers investigated how changes in category size affected judgments about probability.

In one experiment, each participant was given a lottery ticket.

Lottery ticket colours varied - most of the distributed tickets were blue while some tickets were yellow.

Despite an equal probability of any ticket being drawn, participants holding blue tickets were willing to wager an average of 25 percent more money than the participants holding yellow tickets, found the study.

Offering insight on how category size can impact a person's perception of risk and probability, study results can help businesses and policymakers better communicate risk-related information.

The study appeared in the Journal of Consumer Research.

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