In order to determine whether or not something is ethical, we must first determine what ethics mean.
What is ethics:
“involves systematizing, defending, and recommending concepts of right and wrong behavior”
What makes something unethical?:
Actions that are against social norms or acts that are considered unacceptable to the public
So in order for psychological pricing to be unethical, it must violate both of these rules. Let’s dive a bit deeper, shall we?
“Social norms are shared standards of acceptable behavior by groups. Social norms can both be informal understandings that govern the behavior of members of a society, as well as be codified into rules and laws”
With this definition, where do you think psychological pricing falls? What are your thoughts? Does it feel normal or does it seem out of place?
As a society we have become accustomed to the idea of businesses using our psychology against us. It’s to a point that when a business doesn’t do it, then it catches our eyes.
So using psychology to determine a companies price is definitely normal in our society … For now.
“Unacceptable behavior, may involve actions, words or physical gestures that could reasonably be perceived to be the cause of another person’s distress or discomfort.”
When you see a company price their items at .99 are you outraged? Do you not shop there? Do you think any less of the company?
Of course not.. you may not even think twice about it. And if brought up, you would probably just think “yeah”.
Most people have an understanding that businesses use psychological tactics to influence customer behavior
Using psychology to determine pricing is definitely acceptable … For now
Is Psychological Pricing Ethical?
While yes, it may not seem like its something that should be acceptable or tolerated. By definition, psychological pricing is ethical and is widely adopted by the vast majority of businesses. Ranging from big to small, every business uses psychology to influence your behavior to some degree or another
Whether you think we should change it or not, now that’s a completely different topic…