Psych 100 MINI one - truly free if one has to pay sixty or...

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Along the side of a computer-parts website was an ad for “All Phones FREE.” Below the initial banner were eight different high-end phones that one could receive for free. Each of the phones was set in front of a brightly colored and overall pleasing background. Every phone was free if you read the small print which stated, “With new 2 year activation.” One is being asked to believe that if they click on the pictures of the phones, and follow several easy steps, they will be receiving a brand new phone for free. Many people would click on the ad intuitively because it says the word “FREE,” and then be drawn into reading the fine print and finally deciding whether or not they actually wanted a two-year agreement. When one reads the ad and closely examines the claims, one finds that the phones, while free, are only free after a binding contract which will cost hundreds or thousands of dollars over the next two years. As for alternative ways to interpret the evidence, it may be possible to see the ads right away and believe that the phones are not
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Unformatted text preview: truly free if one has to pay sixty or so dollars a month for the next two years, and then simply ignore the ad. Other than that, the evidence is set right out there for people to see, and there are very few ways of interpreting it. A way to collect evidence about this advertisement would be to monitor web surfers as they viewed the web site and clicked on the ad. The observer would document how many people saw the ad, but simply ignored it; how many people saw the ad and ended up clicking on it; and finally, how many people saw the ad and actually ended up entering a two-year contract with the phone provider. A conclusion that is perhaps most reasonable is that the large majority of people using the internet have seen many ads claiming to have “FREE” items, and have learned through experience that in order to receive the item for free, they must go through several steps, and by the time they reach the end, they are actually going to end up paying some amount of money....
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2008 for the course PSYCH 100 taught by Professor Grison during the Fall '07 term at University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign.

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