# Consumer Confusion of Percent Differences: When Less Is More and More Is Less

ABSTRACT - If A is 33 percent less than B, then B is 50 percent more than A. What is the effect of this counterintuitive mathematical tautology on consumers evaluating price and value? In four experiments, perceived price differences were greater when the cheaper of two products was the referent of the comparison (e.g., B is 50% more than A) than when it was the target of the comparison (e.g., A is 33% less than B). Products that were the same price were perceived as a different price, and products that differed in price (by as much as several hundred dollars) were perceived as the same price.

##### Citation:

Patrick Vargas and Justin Kruger (2005) ,"Consumer Confusion of Percent Differences: When Less Is More and More Is Less", in AP - Asia Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 6, eds. Yong-Uon Ha and Youjae Yi, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 76.

Asia Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 6, 2005      Page 76

CONSUMER CONFUSION OF PERCENT DIFFERENCES: WHEN LESS IS MORE AND MORE IS LESS

Patrick Vargas, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, U.S.A.

Justin Kruger, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, U.S.A.

ABSTRACT -

If A is 33 percent less than B, then B is 50 percent more than A. What is the effect of this counterintuitive mathematical tautology on consumers evaluating price and value? In four experiments, perceived price differences were greater when the cheaper of two products was the referent of the comparison (e.g., B is 50% more than A) than when it was the target of the comparison (e.g., A is 33% less than B). Products that were the same price were perceived as a different price, and products that differed in price (by as much as several hundred dollars) were perceived as the same price.

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##### Authors

Patrick Vargas, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, U.S.A.
Justin Kruger, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, U.S.A.

##### Volume

AP - Asia Pacific Advances in Consumer Research Volume 6 | 2005

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