A Stradivarius violin costs around couple of million dollars while a good quality new violin costs in the range of hundreds dollars. Why some people spend so much money on a Stradivarius? I think it is because they believe that the sound of it is so good that it is worth it.

stradivarius violin
A Stradivarius Volin

An experiment conducted to compare old Stradivarius'es and new violins. For the experiment, six old and six new violins were taken and a group of renowned expert soloists tried each. Soloist wore an eyeglass preventing them seeing the instrument they are playing. Soloists then ranked each violin based on how much they liked its sound. The result was that new violins were liked more than Stradivarius'es. The details of the experiment are here: Legendary Stradivarius Loses to New Violins in Blind Tests

Perception differs from reality. More importantly perception can be manipulated, manufactured, modified, engineered. In the violins case, perception was influenced beacuse nobody wanted to challenge the common belief: If you do not hear the magnificent sound of Stradivairus then you do not understand music. Amazing thing is that perception of even the most educated professional musicians could be wrong.

If perception of people can be so easily manipulated, then this would be taken advantage of. The whole advertisement industry is based on perception manipulation. And most important of all politics is based on perception manipulation. I think that whole world is running on perception manipulation.

Take an example: People are queuing to buy the newly released smart phone from a certain brand, paying almost three-four times the price of an equivalent product. Why? Because they see the that certain brand in almost all hollywood movies.