14 fevereiro 2016

Pensamento relativo em finanças pessoais

Consider this situation: You’re shopping for headphones. An electronics store has the model you want for $50, a reasonable price. But a sales clerk says: “You know our other branch has this item on sale for $40.” Going to that store will take 30 minutes, and you can’t buy the headphones for that price online. Do you go to the other branch?

Before you answer, consider a slightly modified version of the same situation: Instead of headphones, you are buying speakers. You go to the same store and find the model you want for $400. Again, the price seems reasonable but the sales clerk says it’s on sale at the other branch for $385. What do you do now?

Research by Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky, the psychologists whose work helped spawn behavioral economics, suggests that people are more likely to make the trip for the $40 headphones than for the $385 speakers.

At first glance, this makes sense. By taking the trouble to go to the other store, you can save 20 percent on the headphones and only 3.75 percent on the speakers. The bigger percentage in savings is more appealing.

Though intuitive, this way of looking at the choices is mistaken. In each case it will take 30 minutes to save some money. But with the headphones, you save $10; with the speakers, you save $15

It’s as if you had two identical job offers, but one paid $20 an hour and the other $30. Yet you consistently chose the lower-paying job.

We tend to focus on the percentage rather than the amount we save, and fall prey to a mental illusion. After all, when your shopping is done, it is dollars — not percentages — that will be in your bank account.


Not everyone falls prey to this effect, as Anuj K. Shah, a professor of behavioral science at the University of Chicago, has demonstrated in research done with Eldar Shafir, a psychology professor at Princeton, and me.

For one thing, lower-income people behave more consistently as consumers than more affluent ones. Poorer people tend to value a dollar more consistently, irrespective of the context. It is not simply that those with less money pinch more pennies; it is that they are compelled to value those pennies in absolute rather than relative terms.

Whereas the well-off may dabble in frugality, necessity makes the poor experts in it. To them, a dollar has real tangible value. A dollar saved is a dollar to be spent elsewhere, not merely a piece of token accounting.

The insight here is simple: When it comes to money, stop looking at relative values and start looking at absolutes. Dollars, not percentages, matter. In this case, the well-off can learn something about money management from the poor.

Fonte: aqui

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