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Does Expensive Imply Higher Quality?

Your Two Cents: Does Price Indicate Quality?

Two recent studies suggest that we expect products to be more effective and perceive them to be of higher quality when they cost more.

A brain scanning study shows that we connect the price of wine to how enjoyable it is, and suggests that more expensive wine tastes better partly because we expect it to. The brain scans showed that the pleasure recording parts of the testers' brains were activated when told they were drinking top dollar wines.

Similarly, the American Medical Association just published a study that told its subjects they were testing a new kind of pain medication. Instead of receiving actual meds they were given sugar pills, and some were told their pills cost $2.50, and the others were told the pills cost 10 cents. 85 percent of those with the more expensive placebo said their pain reduced significantly while 61 percent noticed their pain decreased when they took the cheaper pill.

Are you someone who thinks that price dictates effectiveness and quality?


Join The Conversation
mandy_frost mandy_frost 9 years
I think that the generic usually does tend to be the same. Food, I'm generic all the way. A Lean Cuisine is a treat now that I've discovered a frozen meal titled "Michelina's Budget Gourmet" which is only $1. However, I'm not willing to risk it on things like laundry deturgent. I have before, and it's not worth it. Meds all have to be approved by the FDA. I buy a CVS brand pepto instead of the real thing, but I buy Sudafed and NEVER a generic on that. For meds, I do trial and error and buy regularly what works or what I like the best. My Flintstone vitamins, for instance, will NEVER be replaced. I tried women's one-a-day... NO THANKS. I'll take a tasty flavor and chewables any day.
Cassandra57 Cassandra57 9 years
Also regarding medication--and probably anything that requires research and development--the cost reflects the company recouping their R&D costs. Cars and high-tech stuff, too, I would think. Even some brand-name medications have problems. I heard a story last week about a blood thinner that sources some if it's ingredients in China, and is having problems. There have apparently been some deaths linked to it, and they're just becoming aware of the issues. I won't always automatically buy the more expensive item, but if it's *too* cheap I avoid it.
wackdoodle wackdoodle 9 years
For medications as with most things - no. Medications pricing is dictated by who owns the formula copyright/patent and whether there is a strong need in the marketplace for said medication. And how expensive the medication is to synthesize. As far as other goods - a high price doesn't mean the goods are a higher quality or that they are worthy of the high price or value people subscribe to them.
j2e1n9 j2e1n9 9 years
Yes, hello people! You get what you pay for! :true:
MandyJoBo MandyJoBo 9 years
This applies to everything. I'm a shopper extraordinaire, so I know a bit about quality/price. I do a lot of research before buying almost everything. Food & toiletries: I always buy name-brand items at the grocery and drug stores. Sometimes they are the same as the generic, but not always. Drugs: I always buy name-brand drugs, but I probably shouldn't. Generics are, by law, required to be the same. I should just get cute containers for my drugs because I buy name-brand simply based on the more appealing bottles. Designer merch: Things like designer (real designers, not "designers" you get at Macy's) goods are always too expensive. You are, in fact, paying for the label more than the goods. Although they are of high-quality, the mark up is still enormous and that is what indicates worthiness. It's up to you if you want to spend a week's salary on a new handbag. Sometimes it's about the design. Housewares, etc: Other things--unless ridiculously priced to prey on people who don't know better and think because it's at a boutique or a specialty store online, it's worth more--usually have price as an indicator of quality. If I go to a store to buy something and have no idea how to tell which is best, I go by price. Cutting boards, for example. I went to buy a cutting board at Bed Bath & Beyond and didn't know what I was looking for because I've never needed a cutting board before. I just got the most expensive one they had (that wasn't wood because I didn't want wood). Apparel: For clothes, worth is on a piece-by-piece basis. I don't really care about the quality of clothes because I only keep them for one season. But for most people, they want something that is going to last whether it's $10 or $100.
TidalWave TidalWave 9 years
DreaAST.... you shouldn't be buying poptarts! sugggggggggggggar up the wazoo!
DreaAST DreaAST 9 years
it just depends. i would never buy generic pop tarts. they are not the same. everything else, i do buy generic for the most part.
Hootie Hootie 9 years
More $$$ isn't always better quality. It depends on the product. I agree about the TP! Ha ha... Charmin!
TidalWave TidalWave 9 years
i dont know, it's hit or miss, you just have to trial and error it out. i think it also depends on brand and store. i have $20 jeans that have lasted me years, while a pair of Seven jeans ripped after a few months =/
Shopaholichunny Shopaholichunny 9 years
:ROTFL: ImLissy and Syako. Sooo true! I only buy Charmin! :P
syako syako 9 years
*except toilet paper. Generic toilet paper is NOT the same.* :true:
imLissy imLissy 9 years
my mom was trying to convince me not to buy the generic mouthwash version of crest pro health. It was half the price and she told me it would taste awful. It tastes exactly the same. Why? It's the same thing! Just cheaper! I always buy generic. The only difference is the packaging. Oh, except toilet paper. Generic toilet paper is NOT the same.
ilanac13 ilanac13 9 years
i think that as a culture - we assume that if something is more expensive it's of better quality - but time and time again we are proven wrong about that. generic is at times the EXACT same thing as the 'designer' label - so it's not necessarily a testiment that you have to pay more to get a good product.
SkinnyMarie SkinnyMarie 9 years
I always buy name brand pain killers, over the counter meds, and vitamins. I hear of too many times of things being found in the non name brand (except Tylenol). Sometimes you also know the company is of higher quality and that they do charge more.
princessjaslew princessjaslew 9 years
what can i say? i like to think i'm a smart consumer. although sometimes i do go for brand-name stuff....but most times, i like to think i go for the quality itself, not how much it costs.
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