In my July 28 webinar we’ll be discussing Scarcity. The essential premise is that as things become less available, they appear more desirable.

I’ll also cover the related phenomenon of Psychological Reactance: When we’re specifically told we can’t have something (or do something, or access something…) we tend to lash out. The forbidden thing becomes something we just must have… even though before it was forbidden, we couldn’t have cared less about it.

A good example is the “Barbra Streisand Effect”. In 2003, Streisand’s house happened to appear in one of 12,000 aerial photos taken by a company mapping the California coastline. Streisand, feeling an invasion of privacy, sued the company (unsuccessfully) for $50,000,000 and insisted the photos be removed from the public database. The result: 420,000 views of the photo in a single month. (You can see it here. Can’t resist, can you?)

Another example: When information is hard to come by or forbidden, it seems that much more important and reliable. This is why juries, when told they “must disregard this testimony” may actually give it more weight.

Join my webinar on July 28. We’ll cover many more examples of Scarcity, Reactance and Loss Aversion. And we’ll also see you might use these often counterintuitive principles to make your website more effective.