Originally Posted by desarc
everything will always be priced one cent or one dollar BELOW an even number. it's psychological. even though we SEE $2.99 and SAY three bucks, our instinctual "blink" process sees $2.99 as much cheaper than $3.00, or a car that's $19,999 as much cheaper than $20,000.
Yeah, there are many examples of that same disconnect between our experience
of reality and actual reality. Many tests show that $x.99 makes a difference, so we will continue to get it.
Gambling is probably the best (or worst!) example. Rationally we simply wouldn't gamble - but we go for the chance. We create many beliefs to support that too - such as if I guessed right for the first 5 that I'm on a roll and will continue to guess right. We also know that the chance of 6 consecutive numbers winning the lottery is remote (1,2,3,4,5,6)... but mistakenly believe that a random group of numbers has more chance. Rationally understanding the odds doesn't affect our gut feelings in the slightest.
We also can't imagine "not" or "maybe" in the same way as we imagine something. eg: "Don't imagine the colour yellow". If we're asked to compare "definitely having $10,000 vs a chance of $90,000" we imagine 10k vs 90k (we leave out the "chance" in our gut feelings).
I note you described our brain as 'stupid', I don't agree with that. But it does work quite differently to what we rationally know. Unfortunately we aren't taught to take advantage of how our mind works to make decisions (for example, we rationally can only hold a very limited amount of information (5-9 pieces at most) but our internal imagery of our world has far greater capacity and can make better decisions if the question is posed correctly.