Consumers are heavily influenced by big numbers when it comes to technology specifications, even when the one with the larger numbers is the inferior model, a study has found.
The research was carried our by the Journal of Consumer Research, which looked into the differences between "how we perceive an item based on experience, and how we view the item based on what we know about it".
Basing the test around digital cameras – specifically their megapixel rating – researchers hypothesised that the subjects – students at a Chinese university – would base their decisions on specifications.
They were presented with two images – both the same picture, albeit one edited in Photoshop to increase the vivacity of the colours and the other, the sharpness of the image.
When asked to choose which image they preferred, 25 per cent of the students chose the sharper image. When told that the camera that ‘captured’ the sharper image "captured more pixels using a figure based on the diagonal of the sensor", more than half chose it.
Even more drastically, when researchers told the students that the camera that took the sharper image also had more megapixels, the number of students choosing the sharper image jumped to 75 per cent.
Source: Ars Technica