According to the Principle of Scarcity people assign more value to opportunities when they are less available. The idea of potential loss plays a large role in human decision making. In fact, ''people seem to be more motivated by the thought of losing something than by the thought of gaining something of equal value''. For instance:
* Homeowners told how much money they could lose from inadequate insulation are more likely to insulate their homes than those told how much money they could save.
* Similar results have been obtained by health researchers: Pamphlets urging young women to check for breast cancer through self-examinations are significantly more successful if they state their case in terms of what stands to be lost (e.g., “You can lose severalpotential health benefits by failing to spend only five minutes each month..)

!The key to using the principle of scarcity
The use of this principle for profit can be seen in such high-pressure sales techniques as only a "limited number" now available and a "deadline" set for an offer. Such tactics attempt to persuade people that number and/or time restrict access to what is offered. The scarcity principle holds true for two reasons:
# Things difficult to attain are typically more valuable. According to the [[Psychological reactance]]@psychology theory ''people respond to the loss of freedom by wanting to have it more''. And the availability of an item or experience can serve as a shortcut clue or cue to its quality.
# When something becomes less accessible, the freedom to have it may be lost. 

In addition to its effect on the valuation of commodities, the Principle of Scarcity also applies to the way that information is evaluated. Research indicates that the ''act of limiting access to a message may cause individuals to want it more and to become increasingly favorable to it''. The latter of these findings, that ''limited information is more persuasive'' seems the most interesting. In the case of censorship, this effect occurs even when the message has not been received. When a message has been received, it is more effective if it is perceived to consist of some type of exclusive information.

The scarcity principle is more likely to hold true under two optimizing conditions
# Scarce items are heightened in value when they are newly scarce. That is things have higher value when they have become recently restricted more than those than those things that were restricted all along have.
# People are most attracted to scarce resources when they compete with others for them. 
## The book mentions a 'cookie jar' experiments which demonstrated that students liked extra cookies they got //better// when they where told the cookies where scarce due to social demand.

!Resisting the rule of scarcity
It is difficult to prepare ourselves cognitively against scarcity pressures because they have an emotional quality that makes thinking difficult. In defense, we might attempt to be alert regarding the sudden rush of emotions in situations involving scarcity. Perhaps this awareness may allow us to remain calm and take steps to assess the merits of an opportunity in terms of why we really want and objectively need. 

People are much more sensitive to potential losses than to potential gains (Hobfoll, 2001). Therefore opportunities seem more valuable to us when they are less available (p.200).

!Practical tips
* Create scarcity in available //amount// (first <n> samples are for free, google wave limited beta)
* Create scarcity in //time// (this offer holds today, offer valid until...)
* Create scarcity in limited access

!Examples on how to use the rule of scarcity 
* Example: A salesperson can easily secure a commitment to purchase an item when it is presumed that the item is unavailable, while the information that a desired item is in good supply can make it less attractive (Schwarz, 1984).
* Example: After the passage of a law to ban phosphate laundry detergent was passed in Dade County, Florida, Miami residents came to believe that phosphate detergents were gentler, more effective in cold water, better whiteners and fresheners, more powerful on stains, and easier to pour than non-phosphate detergents (Mazis, 1975).
* Example: College students had a greater desire to read a book, and a greater belief that they would enjoy the book, when they were informed that it was “for adults only, restricted to those 21 years and older” (Zellinger, Fromkin, Speller, & Kohn, 1974).
* Example: People become more sympathetic to arguments when they learn that the argument has been censored—even when they have never been exposed to the argument’s justifications (Worchel, Arnold, & Baker, 1975).
* Example: People given a cookie from a full jar enjoy it less and report that it is lower quality than an identical cookie from a mostly empty jar (Worchel, Lee, & Adewole, 1975).

<<tiddler [[Demonstration of the rule of scarcity]]>>
Sat, 18 Jun 2011 14:04:28 GMT
Sat, 18 Jun 2011 14:04:28 GMT
Six principles of influence