By Brad Bell
Imagine looking in your wallet to find five twenty dollars bills. Would you be more likely to a product, such as a watch, than if you only had a hundred dollar bill in your wallet? In Experiment 1, Mishra, Mishra, and Nayakankuppam (2006) randomly assigned each participant to one of three conditions. In one condition, the
participants were given a hundred dollar bill. In a second condition, the participants were given five twenty dollar bills. In a third condition, the participants were given a 50 dollar bill, two twenty dollar bills, and two five dollar bills. All participants were asked how willing they would be to buy three products (e.g., a watch for $40) on a ten-point scale. They found that participants who were given five twenty dollar bills were more willing to buy products than participants who were given a hundred dollar bill. Moreover, participants who were given one 50 dollar bill, 2 twenty dollar bills, and 2 five dollar bills were more willing to buy products than participants who were given five twenty dollar bills. Several other experiments were conducted that helped to explain why there
may be a bias for the type of bills that a person has.
These findings suggest that having smaller bills in one’s wallet could lead to a greater likelihood of buying a product.
Mishra, H., Mishra, A., & Nayakankuppan, D. (2006). Money: A bias
for the whole. Journal of Consumer Research, 32, 541-549.