Last night the Reds had a great victory.
Do you ever notice how the players who are on deck will prepare by swinging a heavier-than-normal bat, or one with “doughnut” rings?
Their intention is to have a lighter/quicker swing when they return to their actual bat, which is an example brought to my attention by this book.
Whether or not that works for professional players, the idea is rooted in a persuasion principle known as perceptual contrast.
Since we aren’t all baseball players, here’s another example. Remember the last time you took a hot shower after you were out in the cold for an extended period of time? The temperature of the water felt much different than it normally would at that same temperature!
From baseball to how we perceive temperature, prior experiences have a strong way of altering our current perception.
How do politicians, and of course sales people, use this to their advantage?
Let’s say a sales person is attempting to persuade you to choose Verizon over Sprint. Now imagine she were to tell you a “persuasive” message about Verizon, but first she also told you another message about your other choice, Sprint.
What would be more persuasive in selling you Verizon’s services: a long message about Sprint’s offerings, or a message with just a bit of information regarding Sprint, then followed up with the Verizon message?
Research has shown that in situations similar to this, people will actually feel that they are much more knowledgeable about Verizon when they have first heard a few details about the competitor– in this example, Sprint.
But if you give too much information about Sprint (or a competing product or service) before the additional information about Verizon is given, then you will hurt your chances of closing the deal.
You’d think that merely mentioning the competition as a point of reference wouldn’t be that persuasive…so when is this truly most effective?
I remember when I was fairly sure I was going to buy a MacBook Pro. When I made a remark about the price, an Apple enthusiast mentioned to me that Dell computers often break, but Apple products were much sturdier, and would last me many more years in his opinion.
Just that small comparison reinforced the idea in my head that I was making the right purchase decision. It wasn’t scientific, and it might not have even been true, but after all, I wanted to buy the high quality product.
Sometimes when we are”choosing” a product or service, it should be noted that we would really have to go out of our way to switch to the competition, or similar to my example, we’ve somewhat already made up our mind. (This is especially true when we have contracts with our cell phone companies, for example!)
In these situations–where we hear just a bit about why a competitor’s service is inferior–this prior stimuli is quite powerful in changing our perceived knowledge at hand.
Trulia took it upon themselves to examine housing prices in the neighborhoods near major-league stadiums. Looking at the past year, and the surrounding neighborhood within 1-2 miles of a stadium, they discovered that living near San Francisco’s AT&T Park was the most expense at a median of $653 per square foot. On the other end, the Texas Rangers had the least expensive “baseball stadium neighborhood” to live in, at about $86 per square foot.
Taking it one step further, Trulia looked at how expensive the stadium neighborhoods were relative to the surrounding metro area. Nearly 70 percent of stadiums (besides Toronto) were located in neighborhoods that were more expensive than the average for that metro.
These are where the results get more exciting for me, since I already knew it was expensive to live in California.
Living near Fenway Park is 2.6 times as expensive as living in the Boston metro overall. Compare that with San Francisco’s baseball neighborhood, which is only 1.3 times more expensive as the San Fran metro…which we know, is still expensive!
To my surprise, Cincinnati shows up as the most expensive stadium neighborhood compared to its metro area: it is 2.8 times as expensive to live near Great American Ball Park as it is to live in the Cincinnati metro area. Two factors must be at play here. One is that the GABP neighborhood is downtown, whereas generally the least expensive neighborhoods making the list had stadiums that were outside of a downtown area.
The other factor at play must simply be that we have the most pride in our team…which is why we will pay so much to be able to be within walking distance from our stadium!
All jokes aside, the report also showed evidence not just that neighborhoods near MLB stadiums cost more, but that if a team has a better chance of winning the World Series, the homes there cost more, too. So the question naturally arises: what about the value of a home when a team is doing well?
In other words, does winning affect the value of a home that’s near a stadium? Here was Jed Kolko‘s response:
Sorry, stadium-neighbors: the answer is no. Home prices near stadiums don’t rise more in the years that a team wins more games…Living near a winning team may bring you happiness and bragging rights, but it won’t raise your home values. There are lots of reasons to cheer for the home team if you live near the ballpark–who wants a bunch of grumpy fans walking around your neighborhood after the game?– but the effect on your home’s value isn’t one of them.