Musical Chairs: Scarcity, Abundance and Reaction Time

Musical chairs is a game based on scarcity, more people than chairs. When the music stops, players make a mad dash to sit so they are not left standing without a chair. You’ve experienced someone spinning a tale, trying to make you believe “this is a great deal that won’t last, act fast.” You know it’s not the car, house, shoe, etc for you. No matter how hard someone tries to convince you to act fast. The words, “act fast,” try to equate a scarcity belief with reaction time that is used to avoid harm.

You see a rock coming toward you, you either act fast and duck or catch it. Act fast, is a physical response. “Oh crap, there is something about to fall on me, I have to move quick.” Marketing, the masters at emotion manipulation to a desired outcome, know offering a solution to avoid perceived scarcity  or looming danger is most effective when people act quickly, out of a visceral emotion. Online sales sites will tell you how many people are viewing an item to foster a sense of demand. Often you will see in red, only a limited number are left which increases the thought of scarcity and act fast.

Often in life, we unconsciously play musical chairs, madly dashing for a seat never thinking, what if the chair is broken? While in the game, the chair is the goal, typically, this scarcity in life does not exist. You do not lose. A silly demonstration required us to go from one end of the classroom to the other. There were 45 of us and no two people could do it the same way. Turns out, besides, walking, skipping, jumping, you could cartwheel, cha cha, roll, spin…. all sorts of options once we all let go of our first thought of how to go from A to B. This week, notice the invitations to a scarcity belief and doom scenario. Are there other options?

The Stability of a Chair for Balancing on Unstable Surfaces

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.