Sep 092015
 

Happiness is all in your head

Here’s a simple yet useful life hack we can use in real world situations. It allows us to enjoy premium experiences at huge discounts. 🙂 We often hear that a high price equals high quality. But because we are humans, the way we perceive “quality” is a physiological process, made possible by enzymes, neurotransmitters, and tiny electrical signals in our brains. This means quality is more about subjective perception than monetary value.

For example, a study at Stanford University conducted a wine tasting experiment. Volunteers were given two types of wine to drink in equal portions. As they were served, the test subjects were “told” the price of the wine they were tasting. One costed $10 per bottle, and the other was $90 per bottle. But what the volunteers didn’t know was that both the cheap and expensive samples of wine were actually from the same $10 bottle, lol. Meanwhile an MIR machine scanned their brains to measure real-time blood flow. The results were almost mind blowing. 😀

The subjects’ brain scans showed that there was more blood activity in their prefrontal cortexes when they drank the sample that they thought was from a more expensive bottle. The prefrontal cortex is the part of the brain that makes us feel pleasure.

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In other words, the test subjects’ brains experienced greater delight when they thought they were tasting something more expensive, even though it had always been the same cheap wine. ? The brain can easily mistake high price for high quality, even when that’s not the case.

So the next time you want to drink wine, just buy the cheap stuff and pretend it’s really expensive when you drink it. 🙂 Pour some for your friends when they come over. Describe the wine to your pals using venerable words such as premium, estate, exceptional quality, etc. Your guests will think that they are drinking from a very expensive vintage. 🙂 And they won’t simply think it tastes like premium wine. It actually would taste like premium wine to them for all intents and purposes, as far as their reality is concerned. Just be careful to not drink too much yourself and accidentally reveal that it’s really just a $10 bottle.?

Brand-name drugs and generics both use the same active ingredients. Since we understand how our brains can play tricks on us, we can choose to buy generics to get the same effects as the brand-name label, but pay less money. 🙂

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Oct 132014
 

The trickle down effect

It has been said that if we cut taxes for the rich and help profitable businesses make even more money then the economic benefits would trickle down from the top to the rest of us. But for many in the working class this has simply not been the case. 🙁

14-10-trickle-down-treading-water

14-10-household-income-us treading water The top 1% have never been wealthier, but the rest of us still face many financial roadblocks. Both consumers and governments of all levels are still carrying a lot of debt. However real incomes in the U.S. have been slowly declining since 2008. Up here in Canada our debt-to-income ratio is near an all time high.

We often receive conflicting messages from policy makers. The Canadian Central Bank is keeping rates low to encourage consumers to spend and stimulate the economy. But at the same time it says that rising consumer debt is a major risk in this country. That’s right, patronize consumers for their debilitating debts when the Central Bank is responsible for creating the cheap money in the first place. Sound logic, Mr. Poloz. 😛

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