Rounded Numbers are Cultural Attractors

Rounded numbers are cultural attractors: They are easier to remember and provide better symbols for magnitudes. So we celebrate twentieth wedding anniversaries, hundredth issues of journals, the millionth copy sold of a record, and so on. This, in turn, creates a special cultural attractor for prices, just below rounded numbers—$9.99 or $9,990 are likely price tags—so as to avoid the evocation of a higher magnitude.


Dan Sperber on why we like rounded numbers.

Folksonomies: culture mathematics powers

/sports/fishing (0.378207)
/science/geology/seismology/earthquakes (0.324104)
/hobbies and interests/games/lottery (0.178503)

Attractors Dan Sperber (0.999730 (negative:-0.342650)), cultural attractors (0.845478 (negative:-0.342650)), rounded numbers (0.845091 (negative:-0.342650)), twentieth wedding anniversaries (0.819162 (positive:0.222918)), rounded numbers— (0.787980 (positive:0.319372)), special cultural attractor (0.783475 (positive:0.383260)), millionth copy (0.623864 (negative:-0.262088)), hundredth issues (0.598524 (negative:-0.222581)), higher magnitude (0.591570 (positive:0.319372)), better symbols (0.576048 (positive:0.477012)), evocation (0.404202 (positive:0.319372)), magnitudes (0.398405 (positive:0.477012)), turn (0.359962 (neutral:0.000000)), journals (0.341761 (negative:-0.222581)), prices (0.341478 (positive:0.383260))

Dan Sperber:Person (0.795748 (negative:-0.342650)), $9,990:Quantity (0.795748 (neutral:0.000000)), $9.99:Quantity (0.795748 (neutral:0.000000))

Wedding anniversary (0.938843): dbpedia | freebase
Price (0.676152): dbpedia | freebase
2008 albums (0.671783): dbpedia
Dan Sperber (0.658160): website | dbpedia | freebase | yago
Wedding (0.645983): dbpedia | freebase | opencyc
1942 births (0.644904): dbpedia
Apparent magnitude (0.639920): dbpedia | freebase
Anniversary (0.627760): dbpedia | freebase

 This Will Make You Smarter
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Brockman , John (2012-02-14), This Will Make You Smarter, HarperCollins, Retrieved on 2013-12-19
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  • Folksonomies: science