Does Price Affect Value Perception – Wine for Thanksgiving

This is not yet another blind taste test study on how price of wine affects how we perceive its quality and taste. There are enough of those stydies. Here wine is simply a tool to test a hypothesis of whether or not the price we paid affects how we later perceive the value of a product. If you have not answered the poll I asked you to, stop here and answer it so you do not see the spoiler.



So here is my hypothesis – I do believe we closely align our value perception to the price we paid even in situations where clearly the price should not diminish the value in any way.

The case here is buying wines on a Buy one get second one for 5 cent deal.

Suppose you bought two identical bottles of wine, price exactly the same. Just randomly you paid full price for first bottle and got the second one for 5 cents. Later you have to make a decision choosing a bottle to give away and a bottle to keep for your own consumption.

Theoretically it should not matter which you decide to keep and which you want to give away after controlling for all wine factors. In fact if you did not know which bottle is which you would have picked one at random. However if you clearly see which bottle cost 5 cents you are more likely to view its value by that price. Hence you most likely will decide to keep the other full price bottle and take the one that you know you paid 5 cents to your friends Thanksgiving dinner.

I however think the answer will differ between men and women.

What do you think?