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The order with which options are presented matters in terms of which option is likely to get pciked, all else being equal. This won’t make people chose a drastically worse or better option by itself, but when two options are not so far apart in terms of perceived utility, it can make all the difference.

How to use it?

  • In a set of 2 options, the first is preferred.
  • With 3 options, the middle one is preferred.
  • With 4 options, the 2 in the middle, but 4 tends to make it more difficult for people to decide, so would avoid it.
  • With 5 options, the one in the middle.
  • With 6 or more: you start to get choice overload and people not completing the decision at stake.

Examples:

  • Pricing plans with 2 options: people chose, in their majority, the basic one, not the premium one. Add a 3rd, ultra-premium option, and then the majority shifts to the middle plan.

Some relevant case studies (if any):

Applied
Academic
2017-01-05T18:16:52+00:00

About the Author:

Julien Le Nestour
Applied behavioral scientist & international consultant — I am using the results and latest advances from the behavioral sciences—specifically behavioral economics—to help companies solve strategic issues. I am working with both start-ups and Fortune 500 groups, and across industries, though I have specific domain knowledge in banking, asset management, B2B and consumer IT, SAAS and e-commerce industries.

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