The decoy effect: how you are influenced to choose without really knowing it - Deepstash
The decoy effect: how you are influenced to choose without really knowing it

The decoy effect: how you are influenced to choose without really knowing it


691 reads

The decoy effect: how you are influenced to choose without really knowing it

Keep reading for FREE

The decoy effect: how you are influenced to choose without really knowing it

Price is the most delicate element of the marketing mix, and much thought goes into setting prices to nudge us towards spending more.

There’s one particularly cunning style of pricing strategy that marketers use to urge you to change your choice from one choice to a costlier or more profitable one.

It is called the “Decoy Effect.”


127 reads

Relative value for money.

Imagine you are in a movie house and now are searching for a cola drink. You have got two options. The cheapest is at Rs 200/-for 200 ml.

The pricier at Rs 400 for 450 ml.

Which one you select will rely upon some assessment of their relative value for money.

It is not immediately apparent, though, that the costlier option is the best value. It does have over twice the amount, but what are they worth?

Now consider the above choice in light of the 3rd option of Rs 300 for 300 ml.


87 reads

Decoy Effect

The decoy effect is defined as the phenomenon whereby consumers change their preferences between two options when presented with a third option — the “decoy.”


100 reads

How do decoys work?

When consumers have many alternatives, they often experience “choice overload.” In an endeavour to cut back on this anxiety, consumers tend to simplify the method by selecting only a pair of criteria (say price and quantity) to see the simplest value for money.

Through manipulating these key choice attributes, the decoy steers you in a very particular direction while supplying you with the sensation that you are making a rational, informed choice.


62 reads

Individual effects

The decoy effect can cause us to spend and consume more than we’d like. When a decoy option is present, we tend to make decisions based less on which option will suit our purposes and more on what seems like the most advantageous choice.


64 reads

Systemic effects

Decoys are a commonly used tool by businesses and corporations to “nudge” us into buying more quickly than we’d like.


60 reads

Decoys work subconsciously.

ven though we believe that we make all of our decisions consciously and deliberately, in reality, we are often unaware of things that have influenced our choices or how they need to affect us.

Decoys justify our choice.

When people make decisions, their goal isn’t to select the right option. Instead, the goal is to justify the result of a choice they’ve already made.

Decoys serve to de-stress the decision-making process in additional ways than simply providing a nice-sounding explanation — they also settle the anxiety of having too many options to decide on.


30 reads

Beware of sets of three.

The decoy effect is simplest when there are only three options in play: target, competitor, and decoy. Whether you’re out shopping, or you’re evaluating political candidates, try and notice when things take place in groups of three — there could also be a decoy within the mix.


52 reads

Don’t trust your gut.

Your thinking style plays a role in how likely you’re to be laid low by the decoy effect. One study, which involved over 600 participants, found that the people most affected by a decoy were those who relied on intuitive reasoning.


55 reads

How Apple uses the decoy effect

Apple unveiled its new iPod priced

16GB for $229. 32GB for $299. and 64GB for $399.

In other words, double the storage for a further $70; you also get more features.

However, if you choose to double the capacity (32GB to 64GB), you pay a further $100, but you don’t get extra features. Therefore, you may conclude that the 32GB version offers the most effective value for money.

So, only some would buy the 16GB version and even fewer would choose the 64GB version.

But, the very fact is, the 16GB and the 64GB versions are the decoys to make the 32GB version more appealing and also the best choice.


54 reads


It's time to
Read like a Pro.

Jump-start your

reading habits

, gather your



remember what you read

and stay ahead of the crowd!

Save time with daily digests

No ads, all content is free

Save ideas & add your own

Get access to the mobile app

2M+ Installs

4.7 App Rating