Paying for something that is free

Today is the 11th of July, also known as 7/11, also known as "Free Slurpee Day." 7-11 must love their customers if they're willing to give out free Slurpees all day, right? Not so fast, according to an article in USA Today. Last year on this day, Slurpee sales rose 38 percent! How is it possible when they're giving the stuff away?

Thanks for the free stuff, Internet

I thought perhaps it was because people went in for the free Slurpee and then bought another one for a friend, but that's not entirely true. And we have good old human psychology to thank for that: we feel that if we are getting something for free (as in, a small Slurpee) that somehow we "owe" the store another purchase! And according to the 7-11 marketing team, that purchase will be a larger Slurpee because they are just so delicious. As Barry Schwartz, a professor of psychology at Swarthmore College, told the paper: "If you offer something for free, people will gladly spend money to get it."

Have you ever bought something because you tasted it for free?

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