Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Here’s how Uber uses psychology to convince you to pay higher prices

uber.jpg

It's Friday night. You've had one too many Jagerbombs and what remains of your sober consciousness is telling you to go home. 

There are two cabs waiting at a taxi rank - but given the time of night and the location, they're offering competitive 'surge' prices. One is two times her usual rate, the other is offering 2.1 times his usual rate. 

Which cab do you take?

"The first one, you condescending fool," is almost certainly your response. Yet this is exactly not what Uber has discovered. 

Head of Uber's economic research division Keith Chen revealed to NPR's Hidden Brain podcast that Uber has discovered a strong reaction to the "round number effect" on whether people are happy to accept paying more for a cab. When you look at all the data collected by Uber's vast network of users, it turns out we're more likely to accept a surge charge of 2.1 than 2.0.

"When you tell someone your trip is going to be two times what it would normally be, people think that is capricious and unfair – somebody just made that up," said Chen. "Whereas if you say your trip is going to be 2.1 times what it normally is they think there is some smart algorithm at work, it doesn’t seem quite so unfair."

Yep. Uber will offer you a price of 2.1 rather than 2.0 because some of the absolute worst kind of idiots out there have proven we're all more likely to accept 2.1 "because of the algorithms man".

Now if you'll excuse us, we'll be smashing our heads into our desks until the pain stops.

[Via: NPR]

Related

battery.jpg

Uber knows when your battery is dying and could use it against you

rexfeatures_5662057e.jpg

"I'll order you an Uber" - ShortList drinks gin with Patrick Stewart

uberrating.jpg

Here's how to find your Uber rating (...be careful what you wish for)

Comments

More

A man has used his fidget spinner to like EVERYBODY on Tinder

Where's the quality control, though?

by Gary Ogden
25 May 2017

This new emoji tool tells you which are still cool and which are lame

Less 💅, more 🍆

by Emily Reynolds
24 May 2017

You can now buy the revamped Nokia 3310 in the UK

The retro phone you know and love is back (kind of)

by Matt Tate
24 May 2017

Nintendo respond to touching thank you letter from a blind fan

"We want to keep making games that everyone can have fun playing"

by Matt Tate
24 May 2017

Secret rules on what Facebook allows you to post have been revealed

And it's a pretty confused state of affairs

by Dave Fawbert
22 May 2017

Stephen Hawking reckons we only have 100 years left on Earth

Anyway, happy Friday!

by Tom Mendelsohn
19 May 2017

Watch a young Mark Zuckerberg discover he's got into Harvard

His dad is a lot more excited than he is

by Tom Mendelsohn
19 May 2017

Nintendo have removed a gesture deemed to be offensive from Mario Kart

Up yours, Yoshi

by Matt Tate
18 May 2017

This is rumoured to be the iPhone 8's finished design

Bye bye bezels (maybe)

by Matt Tate
18 May 2017

We might be about to get smartphones that charge fully in five minutes

An Israeli start-up claims it's going to go into production next year

by Tom Mendelsohn
15 May 2017