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How the Word “Free” Changes Your Psyche

Did you know that one word can change the way you think, feel, or act? Believe it or not, when you hear the word “free” suddenly you become surrounded by thoughts of making an immediate action which is probably not reasonable. This is a moment when people stop thinking critically and behave automatically. It’s just a four-letter word - “free” which seems harmless at the first sight, but it may be really dangerous. The way this word affects the human mind is so serious. It changes the way you think and makes you start looking at a product at a store or a service which is free of charge in a completely different manner.

“Buy 2, get one free,” “Apply now and start free membership,” “Shop for $300 and get a gift of $100,” etc. Probably you have seen these offers somewhere on the internet and all of them sound like amazing deals. Every day we encounter offers like this and we don’t even know why they seem so appealing to us. It’s one of the most common marketing strategies which always attracts the customers’ decisions. Research shows that it's hard to resist the temptation when you hear the word “free,” as something immediately changes in our mind, making us believe these offers are reliable. There are several examples of the power of FREE on our psyche, like unexpected gifts, freebies, giveaways. We can even find it’s influence on currency trading.

Trading without deposit

The currency market or forex market is the largest investment market in the world. How it works is that people buy one currency and sell another on the fx market. It is quite risky, most of the people lose a lot of money at the beginning, but if you inform yourself enough, practice, and gain experience, you can easily succeed. However, because of the possible danger, most people don’t even try it and consider it as something inaccessible. But in the process of researching and gaining information about the currency market, people often read things like “you can start forex trading completely free,” “start forex trading without deposit,” “start trading and lose nothing,” and many other announcements. All of them are psychological marketing tricks but people believe them and the moment someone mentions “free” is when a lot more people get into currency trading. However, there are several websites where you can trade currencies for free for real, but as the internet is full of unreliable sources, you have to be careful to make the right choice between them and avoid the serious impact of this word.

The psychology of “free”

Psychologists try to explain why people overvalue free products and services. We can’t note the impact of this word at a first glance, as it happens unconsciously. At first, we perceive the word, then it reaches our memory where the information is written about the benefits of free things and after that without even processing it in our mind, we automatically move it form conscious to unconscious. When we hear the word “free,” we behave as if zero price means not only a drop in the cost of buying a product but also an increase in its value.

However, if talking about the unconscious (and all the things Sigmund Freud used to talk about) seems unreliable for you, there is also scientific evidence that the impact of this word on our minds is real. According to US psychologist Jeanne Munger, free products make people happier. There are loads of information you run into when you scroll through social platforms. Among them, advertisements quickly attract your attention. You cannot enter the world of social media and not run into some sort of advertisement and if somewhere there is written that the service is free, immediately the level of Serotonin increases in the brain. In case you don’t know, Serotonin is widely known as “happiness hormone” which means that whenever we feel happy, the level of this chemical increases in our brain.

You also need to know that process of decision-making is affected by our emotions. Therefore, happiness is an emotion that has a huge impact on us while making serious decisions because increased serotonin levels make the impression that everything is fine while we make dangerous decisions. Considering this fact, be careful to take a step back and continue the true cost of FREE when a service or product is offered for free.

According to Eva Krockow, a UK-based researcher in decision making, “We often pay too much when we pay nothing. While making decisions, it’s hard to be aware that these gifts rarely come completely free. We fail to realize at what point do the hidden costs outweigh the actual value of this free item. This is why we should draw attention to its hidden downsides.”


After discussing all of the negative sides of the impact of the word “free,” we hope that you believe its hidden power that shapes our decisions. Sadly, marketing and advertising companies have stripped a lot of meaning away from it, and most of the time saying the word “free” is just a cheap marketing trick that works. But we are offered wonderful free deals every day. With correct decisions, we can profit from these deals for real and sometimes even make money out of it. We just have to ask the correct questions. Why is it free? Is there any disadvantages? Is it worth it? Just remember to think critically and make the right decisions.

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