Saturday, February 18, 2012

Acoustic Human Factors

You know how when you open a new jar or bottle you get that suction sound that proves to you that it has never been opened before?  Some of them even have a warning message that if you don’t hear that sound the product may have been tampered with.  I think most of you know that this is a highly engineered design that marketing and engineering got together and created.  They play with the amount of air in the jar, the tightness of the seal, and then test all these combinations to see which one sounds the “safest” – gives customers the most confidence that it was really sealed.

The same thing goes on with the sound of a car door closing.  The marketing and engineering teams get together and figure out the design that makes the customer the most confident that it is a tight seal (even if it has no basis in reality). 

So I just found a new one (or maybe it is actually real, who knows).  I have a new sports water bottle.  Every time I open it, I get that suction sound that you usually only get when you open a new bottle. I am not sure if the bottle is really re-sealing or if it is a designed artifact.  But even though I am suspicious, I love this bottle.  It makes me feel good just to pretend that I am getting a better protected drink inside.  Especially when it is something other than water or when I leave it filled for a week. 

I know this is probably motivated reasoning on my part, and now with all my research on motivated reasoning it is pretty sad that I would knowingly fall for it.  But I can feel it working inside my head anyway.  I love this bottle. Why give up that pleasure for a little truth and logic ???