Scarcity greatly boosts value of products, items, time

January 14th, 2009 - 2:33 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Jan 14 (IANS) Scarcity of goods, services and also time greatly boost their value, according to the latest findings. Psychologist Jaime L. Kurtz from Pomona College probed how our behaviour and attitude change when there is limited time for an activity.

A group of college seniors who participated in the study, six weeks prior to graduation, were to write about their college experiences, daily for two weeks.

The experiment was so designed that some students were to think about graduation as a far-off event and some were told to see it approaching very soon.

The results reveal that the students’ behaviour was influenced by how the graduation deadline was framed.

Students who approached graduation as occurring very soon reported participating in more college-related activities compared to the students who thought of graduation as a far-off event, said a Pomona release.

Kurtz surmises that when faced with the imminent end of college, students were more motivated to take advantage of the time they had left in school and participate in as many events as possible. The students realized it would be their last chance to engage in college-related activities.

Kurtz notes that although it may seem counterintuitive, these findings support the idea that “thinking about an experience’s future ending can enhance one’s present experience of it”.

In addition, Kurtz suggests that “focusing on the fact the experiences like these are fleeting enhances enjoyment by creating a ‘now or never’ type of motivation”.

These findings were reported in Psychological Science.

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