Single-option aversion bias

🌱March 26, 2021.
Last tended April 12, 2022.
evergreen 🌲
1 minute read ⏱

In a study by Daniel Mochon at University of Missouri, participants were split into three groups and asked to purchase DVD players.

Group Experiment Result
1 Presented a Sony DVD player 9% interested in purchasing
2 Presented a Philips DVD player 10% interested in purchasing
3 Presented both DVD players 32% chose Sony, 34% chose Philips

Participants that were presented a second choice were 6.5x more likely to exhibit an intent to buy.

The single-option aversion bias can be overcome by providing a second option which is clearly worse. The presence of the worse option makes it clear that the primary option isn’t as bad, and the audience feels like they have a choice in making the decision.

In addition to single-option aversion, Contrast effect bias and Extreme aversion bias can also influence decision making. As a general rule, present three options when driving consensus


Source Creator
Single-Option Aversion ( @Daniel Mochon, Assistant professor of Marketing at Tulane.
How the Perfect Number of Choices Can Increase Conversions - Foundr Foundr