Do We Choose Which Products We Like Based On How Easy They Are To Pick Up?

How hard do you look at products before you grab them? While we’re usually not thinking, “oooh that looks nice and grabbable, I’m going to buy it,” one researchers says that how easy objects are to pick up and use might have some effect on us when it comes time to choose what we want.

NPR’s Goats and Soda blog checked out a new book by Sian Beilock, a psychologist at the University of Chicago, that looks at how our bodies affect our brains called How the Body Knows Its Mind.

She also did a study with the goal of finding out if we might pick up objects based solely on how easy it is to pick up, whether or not we like the thing or not.

To test that, she put two kitchen objects in front of volunteers, with the utensils placed in different positions that made them easier or harder to pick up. So a spoon and a spatula could go on the table, but the spoon has its handle pointing toward participants while the spatula’s points away.

Her study found that 63% of the time, people preferred the object that was easiest to grab.

“This means that subtle changes in the placement or packaging of products can have big effects on people’s desire to buy them,” she observes.

This could be the kind of thing behind Coke’s redesign of its two-liter soda bottle in 2008, NPR notes, changing the shape to make it curvier, and thus, “easier to hold and pour,” as a Coca-Cola rep put it. That led to a surge in Coke two-liters over Pepsi, Beilock says.

That curvy, easy to grab shape “might push you to buy it even knowing it’s not the right decision,” Beilock surmises.

Your Brain May Want That Bottle Of Soda Because It’s Easy To Pick Up [Goats and Soda]

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