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The mechanism is that human brains are really, really bad at judging volume. A small glass full to the brim looks like it has more than a large glass that's half full. Bars often use a related trick, which is tall thin shot glasses - they look like they have more, even if they have less, compared to wider glasses.

Or big-looking shot glasses that have thick walls and bottoms. the glass looks bigger, and it's full... must be more in it.

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