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Ratio & Thoughts

Ratio & Thoughts

Hobson’s+1 Choice Effect

“One option is not really an option”

Customers click and buy more when there’s a link accompanying your big ‘buy now’ button (CTA). I personally call this persuasion technique the “Hobson+1 Effect” and it applies for most (but not all) of your visitors.

At Online Dialogue we’ve ran lots of A/B tests proving this persuasion technique (see some examples below): We simply add a second link very near to the ‘big button’ on a page. Links like ‘more information’, ‘add to whishlist’, ‘direct checkout’, ‘tweet this’ or simply ‘print this page’. They all tend to increase sales (conversion)…

Hereby a psychological explanation

Choice paradox

“We love either 3 or 5 options”
If we are offered one option, our choice is to either go for it, or… not. However, if we are offered two choices, we automatically start choosing between these two options. Not choosing at all becomes a much less obvious option. Therefore offering more than one option is usually more persuasive.

On the other hand, if we are offered too many choices we tend not to make a choice. Too many choices are simply too difficult for our simple ratio.

That’s the paradox of choice.
Scientific research example:
Imagine that you’re in the business of selling pens,

Read More AboutChoice paradox»

Base rate neglect & Base rate fallacy

“We’re really bad with numbers”
We have a tendency to base judgments on known specific numbers and percentages, ignoring necessary general statistical information. This way we often erroneously over evaluate options with high numbers and percentages, ignoring what subset or base these numbers apply to…

Scientific research example:
Imagine you’re the major of a city with 1 million inhabitants, with 100 known criminals. Your citizens want you to decrease crime rate. Your Police Chief suggests installing a surveillance camera with automatic facial recognition software. The software has a failure rate of only 1%.

Is installing the camera a good idea? Most of the

Status quo bias

“We have a tendency to do nothing”
We have an irrational preference for the current state of affairs. Even when offered a new option or choice, we tend to stick to the default option.

The status quo bias is closely related to loss aversion and anchoring & adjustments, since the default option is taken as a reference point. Any change from that baseline is perceived as a loss.
A real-life example:
In Europe different countries use different policies regarding organ donation. Ben Saunders (2012) found that there are typically two types of countries. There are countries where a minority (4% – 28%) participates

Read More AboutStatus quo bias»