Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology

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Volume 15 Issue 2 (March/April 2005), Pages 83-152

A qualitative study of adaptation to the euro in the Republic of Ireland: I. attitudes, the ‘euro illusion’ and the perception of prices (pages 95-107)

Abstract

This is the first of two reports of a study using semi‐structured, in‐depth interviews to explore the current and recollected experiences of Irish people for the period before, during, and after the introduction of euro notes and coins (1 January 2002). Twenty‐four adults, 12 males and 12 females, covering a range of ages and educational attainment, were interviewed between October 2002 and February 2003. We found that most had welcomed the new currency initially, though some had felt less positive about it, whilst current experiences were more mixed. People's explanations for their attitudes seemed to focus more on the economic and practical aspects of currency change rather than symbolic meanings. Initially, most had experienced a euro illusion (prices in euros seeming to be more expensive than in punts). However, for most, the strength of the illusion appeared to diminish quite quickly. Nonetheless, current prices were believed to be higher, and many respondents attributed this either directly or indirectly to the change of currency. Although independent evidence found that there had been price increases in certain sectors, it was concluded that perceived price rises were, in part, illusory, and driven by expectations and selective price monitoring. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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