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Buyers prefer products with more specs

Shoppers go crazy for long spec lists
Shoppers go crazy for long spec lists

We're suckers for a long specification list here at Tech Radar, poring over the mAh capacities of phone batteries and stroking our chins over the frequency responses of audiophile speakers. And apparently we're not alone.

A new study by the University of Chicago has found that consumers prefer a long list of product stats - even ones that are totally meaningless.

Researchers asked participants to choose between two options of digital cameras, towels, sesame oil, mobile phones, and crisps. In each study, participants preferred the products with not the most impressive but simply the most specs.

Now with 400 millilitres of reverse wattage!

The researchers even asked people to make up their own specifications for products - which were then rated higher than before.

"We find that even when buyers can directly experience the underlying attributes and the specifications carry little or no additional information, they are still heavily influenced by the specifications," says report author Christopher Hsee.

However, while participants chose products with more specifications, they didn't necessarily like the products more after they chose them.

Are we stupid or what?