If you've been reading the finance pages recently, you will have noticed that JC Penney fired its snazzy ex-Apple CEO and--as Walmart says--rolled back his everyday low price policies. In fact, it's JC Penney once again, not jcp. According to the various post-mortems, customers LIKE sales, even if the sales are on artificially inflated prices. Here's an actual example from my own single jcp experience. I LIKE the idea of everyday low prices. So I bought a basic tank top, the black stretchy kind. At jcp, it was $5 or $6 dollars. I love it! Now, it is $12. Oh, but I got a coupon for 20% off. Thanks.
I wrote a few days ago about the psychology of grading points. I am going to try the 1000 point system next semester, whereby everything will be worth 10x more than now and be divided by 10 in the grand finale. Interestingly, one commenter suggested that the 1000 point system enables the students to get more points. Perhaps that's true, since there are more fine points in between. However, it works the other way too, whereby students can get fewer points. For instance, I have 20 one-point assignments. I give the students points for doing them. They are very short assignments, designed to keep students doing SOMETHING in between more major assignments.
Everyone can get 20/20--even if English is not a strong subject. That is a big chunk of a grade and can compensate for poor performance on projects and exams. I do have a small--5 point--bonus for "quality," where I look at three assignments randomly and give 1-5 points. But watch what happens when it's a 10-point assignment. While students may be more excited about an assignment that's "worth more," I would guess that I will see fewer 20/20 than I do currently. I will eliminate the extra step for me of assigning quality points. I would guess that most students will get between 6 and 8 points out of 10 under the new system. So it's more likely that students will see 70 out of 100 than 10/10. That's what happens when most people hover around the middle rather than cluster at the top.
The funny thing: when students have to divide by 10, I notice that most whip out their phones to do the calculation. That's the innumeracy I worry about.