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

Here's a look at the 56 new emoji that are headed to your phone

Vampires, wizards, avocados... Harambe?!

by Carl Anka
21 Jun 2017

How well do you remember the 'Crash Bandicoot' games?

Wind back that clock to happier times

by Matt Tate
21 Jun 2017

Dog follows Google Street Mapper, ends up in all the photos

Let this good boy be your guide

by Dave Fawbert
21 Jun 2017

There is a Theresa May fields of wheat game and it's pretty naughty

It's also really addictive

by Matt Tate
21 Jun 2017

10 great E3 games you can play in 2017

So much good stuff, not long to wait

by Matt Tate
16 Jun 2017

Super Mario Odyssey co-op lets second player control Mario's magic cap

Because this game wasn't ridiculous enough already

16 Jun 2017

5 intriguing E3 games you might have missed

Don't let any of these pass you by

by Matt Tate
15 Jun 2017

11 must-see trailers from this year's E3

So much gaming goodness

by Matt Tate
14 Jun 2017

Everything you need to know about Nintendo's E3 showcase

It's-a-him!

by Matt Tate
13 Jun 2017

Sony at E3 2017: your essential recap

With great power comes great responsibility

by Matt Tate
13 Jun 2017