Consumer Behavior: Prices in Red Affect Men but Not Women

Men who saw red discount prices for toasters and microwaves agreed more strongly that they’d save “a lot of money” than men who saw black prices (4.26 versus 2.56 on a seven-point scale), says a team led by Nancy M. Puccinelli of Oxford’s Saïd Business School. But this didn’t happen when the research subjects were induced to think carefully about the prices, suggesting that red’s happiness-inducing effect sways men’s perception of discounts only when they’re not paying close attention. Women were unaffected by the prices’ color, perhaps because they were already paying closer attention than the men to the discounts, the researchers say.

Consumer Behavior