This is not really economics, just the standard Freakonomics empirical analysis of random stuff. It makes for fun reading, as trivia books often are, but as to whether the trivia is wrong, well, no one really cares.
So, I found this recent finding of interest, because I'm sure it won't affect Ariely's research one iota, because the truth about this is really not so interesting.
THE perennial debate in every playground has finally been solved - ripping a Band-Aid off quickly causes less pain than pulling it away from the skin in a slow two-second tug.
For the study, published today in the Medical Journal of Australia, each student had two plasters applied to their upper arm, hand and ankle. The plasters were then removed using both fast and slow methods, with a randomisation process used to decide which was used first on each student. Subjects were asked to rate the pain on a scale of 0 to 10, with 10 being the "worst pain imaginable".
Fast removal achieved an average pain score of 0.92, while slow removal was significantly more painful at 1.58