Why People Like Round Numbers at the Gas Pump

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A recent study from Cornell University and Scripps College into people’s gas pumping habits, found that 60 percent of the purchases ended with double zeros, and 7 percent ended with one cent, which might be due to just going over the target amount.

Results of a recent study found that most people who were pumping gas at a convenience store in upstate New York ended up stopping when the price reached a round number dollar amount with zero cents.

When examining people’s gas pumping habits, researchers found that 60 percent of the purchases ended with double zeros, and 7 percent ended with one cent, which might be due to just going over the target amount.

This applied to people who paid for their gas with cash or credit card, but there were a higher number of cash paying customers that ended their transaction with double zeros.

Another part of the study found that even the dollar amounts themselves ended in the number zero or five in over half of the cases that were part of the study.

Psychologist Michael Lynn is quoted as saying: “The frequency of round numbers and the ease of processing them contribute to a preference for round numbers that may simply generalize to round prices.”

The study also involved customer habits in two pay what you want situations including gratuity tipping at a restaurant and paying online for a computer game called The World of Go.

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