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When Prompting People to Make a Choice, the Consequence of Not Choosing Matters

How Economic Incentives Affect Our Choices

If a person is told about the economic incentives of their selection, they are more likely to make an active choice.

If the person is told about the pros and cons of their decision, they have a logical reason to make the desired choice, as it can minimize any potential loss.

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When Prompting People to Make a Choice, the Consequence of Not Choosing Matters

When Prompting People to Make a Choice, the Consequence of Not Choosing Matters

https://insights.som.yale.edu/insights/when-prompting-people-to-make-choice-the-consequence-of-not-choosing-matters

insights.som.yale.edu

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Key Ideas

The Default Choice

While prompted to make a decision with a given set of options, a person has the freedom to refuse to actively make a choice.

The decision-making process of the person is affected by the default choice that will be automatically selected in case the person refuses to choose.

How Economic Incentives Affect Our Choices

If a person is told about the economic incentives of their selection, they are more likely to make an active choice.

If the person is told about the pros and cons of their decision, they have a logical reason to make the desired choice, as it can minimize any potential loss.

Rewards And Penalties

Organizations need to understand when to provide a reward to the person making the choice to promote active choice-making, or to initiate a penalty to make them provide a concrete answer.

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People tend to conform to behaviors that are common among other people, even when they know that those people did not make their choices freely, and when the decision does not mirror their own desi...

Common reasons for conforming
  • One common explanation: we that if everyone else is choosing to do one thing, it is probably a good thing to do.
  • Another common explanation: we fear that failing to follow a norm may have negative social consequences.
The self-categorization theory

The idea of the self-categorization theory is that people conform to the norms of certain social groups whenever they have a personal desire to feel like they belong.

It is irrelevant whether a norm reflects people's preference, as long as the behavior is associated with the group.

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When we are curious, we view tough situations more creatively. Studies have found that curiosity is associated with less defensive reactions to stress and less aggressive reactions to provocation.

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Curiosity encourages members of a group to put themselves in one another’s shoes and take an interest in one another’s ideas rather than focus only on their own perspective.

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