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Old October 6th, 2015, 12:14 PM   #1
droneriot
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The psychology of "magic heights"

I had the idea for this thread seeing how activity in the thread for Shenzen's Ping An Finance Center (Link.) drastically decreased pretty much the moment the height was changed from 600m to 599m, and is now at a similar level as activity in the thread for Tianjin's Goldin Finance 117 (Link.) These aren't the only cases where such small differences matter to the activity of a thread, which of course in turn represents people's interest. Two other towers in Tianjin for example are over 299m, but not quite 300m, and the threads get nearly no activity at all, showing very interest from forum users.

I find this very interesting from a psychological perspective, because I wonder what the cause of this effect is, exactly. I know that in the case of the 299m towers I just mentioned, them being in a different forum section has something to do with it, but what about Ping An/Goldin? No normal person who isn't an autistic height determination savant would be able to tell they're just below 600m in real life, yet the number seems to have a huge effect on people's minds. Really curious about how people on this forum would explain that effect.
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Old October 6th, 2015, 04:15 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by droneriot View Post
the number seems to have a huge effect on people's minds. Really curious about how people on this forum would explain that effect.
what people ?

people interested in architecture and not even all of those are "height freaks" and care more about balance and aesthetics.

I say 90-95% of average people could care less, no to mention many people that don't even use metric system 600m mean nothing to them. If you take a random person not interested in architecture, can't even even estimate the height correctly, especially from street level in real life.

Go ask people not on forum to guess the height of these buildings. (is very hard if you don't know them... the proportions even the cladding can "throw you off")
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Old October 7th, 2015, 11:03 AM   #3
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Maybe it's because of the definitions of supertall and megatall.
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Old October 8th, 2015, 11:29 AM   #4
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Also when Riverfronttimesquare got its new height of 293 meter instead of 300 meter more people were dissapointed then when Chang Fu Jin Mao got a 65 meter height degrease to 303 meter, although this makes much more a visual difference in the end. I think this is because people look at statistics, like how many supertalls a city has and a 65m degrease to 303m doesn't make a difference there while a 7m degrease to 293m does.
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Old October 8th, 2015, 06:35 PM   #5
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for shortly above and below 300m the reason seems pretty obvious. I for example check the supertall forums every day, but the skyscraper forums only like once a week to look thru all new threads.
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Old October 11th, 2015, 06:12 PM   #6
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Just the same is to say for the place it is build in.

Equally high and beautiful towers get very different levels of attention.
If a 350m tower is build in China it get´s hardly any attention, when it is build in New York it makes the top 20 of most visited threads. I must say I myself also have this "flaw".

For the height psychology, many times when I have little time I only scan the first supertall page and only look for the very high ones. Pingan is no longer part of that category so I automatically scan past it.
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Old October 12th, 2015, 12:17 AM   #7
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It was my observation that the height decrease from 600 to 599 made a much bigger difference in thread activity than the decrease from 660 to 600. So it really seems to be about magic numbers above all.

Guess it's the same reason stuff in grocery stores is sold for 2.99, except working in reverse.
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Old October 12th, 2015, 12:34 AM   #8
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Keen observation 2.99 vs 3.00.

I of course tell myself that I'm too clever to fall for it. Just like with commercials... It works on all the other's but not on me.

I guess that most of us think that way

Personally I would say that my interest in Ping An decreased considerably at the rate of which I was loosing faith in it getting a spire.

So you see: I can go on telling myself that this stuff (2.99 vs 3.00) has no effect on me. There are other rational reasons.... But it is strange that it coincided
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Old October 12th, 2015, 02:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by droneriot View Post
It was my observation that the height decrease from 600 to 599 made a much bigger difference in thread activity than the decrease from 660 to 600. So it really seems to be about magic numbers above all.

Guess it's the same reason stuff in grocery stores is sold for 2.99, except working in reverse.
Also the progress have slowed down a lot, little visible change, also a lot of people are disappointed that the spire is gone.

If the building would be 601m, I'm sure it would be about the same activity as it is now. The activity was more due to "will be spire, won't be spire extravaganza" (now that's out of the way, no mystery anymore)

But like I said, this only affect dedicated forum members (like SSC or SSP) and "architecture buffs"

Random people (+95%) could not care less. (I say 99% of women and 90% of men, so average 95% of people)

Also many people around the world don't use metric system, so 1972 feet (601m) or 1965 ft (599m) make really no difference.
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Old October 14th, 2015, 12:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Also many people around the world don't use metric system
The US is practically the only country in the world that doesn't use the metric system. I get what you're trying to say, though. This difference is sad for charts and lists, but in real life it isn't noticeable at all. Still, it kind of bothers me when they pull a stunt like that, as adding a single metre more shouldn't be too hard to accomplish.
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Old October 16th, 2015, 08:53 PM   #11
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US non metric measurement confuses all other world citizens,I must say.
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Old October 29th, 2015, 07:33 AM   #12
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it's crazy, and wonderful
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Old November 1st, 2015, 01:05 PM   #13
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im glad to see sth new
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Old November 28th, 2015, 08:18 PM   #14
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Very interesting. In my opinion it is a matter only for skyscraper nerds like me. Once I asked my friend how tall is tour eiffel, and he answered something like "I don't know something like 100 or 300 meters" 🙈🙈🙈
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Old December 15th, 2015, 05:53 PM   #15
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Perhaps it is the height of the definition or architecture
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Old December 22nd, 2015, 12:50 AM   #16
Faisal Shourov
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Skyscrapercity if full of people who're obsessed with numbers, and 599 takes away the title of megatall and hype for a lot of people. It's no surprise, we're in a skyscraper site after all

Normal people don't even care about skyscrapers, let alone numbers
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Old December 24th, 2015, 02:19 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faisal Shourov View Post
Skyscrapercity if full of people who're obsessed with numbers, and 599 takes away the title of megatall and hype for a lot of people. It's no surprise, we're in a skyscraper site after all

Normal people don't even care about skyscrapers, let alone numbers
I'm far from "normal" but I care more about aesthetics than size.

Good ex. for me would be Dubai Marina, where the tower I like the most is the 304m Cayan Tower.

Now let's say they build that 5m shorter... (oh the humanity... is not even a supertall... ) even if it would not even be noticeable

Would not make any difference to me, still my favorite.
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Old January 1st, 2016, 07:08 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by droneriot View Post
It was my observation that the height decrease from 600 to 599 made a much bigger difference in thread activity than the decrease from 660 to 600. So it really seems to be about magic numbers above all.

Guess it's the same reason stuff in grocery stores is sold for 2.99, except working in reverse.
I agree. It is as simple as that.
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