Framing effect

Written by Guido Jansen in
September 2010

Theory:

Presenting the same option in different formats (or 'frames') can alter people's decisions.

Application:

Research in 1981 (link) told us that people choose differently between the exact same options if the options are presented differently (take a look at the Framing  effect article on Wikipedia and the examples shown there). Take a look at the way you present options to your users. What is the 'story' around each option and is the option you'd like people to choose framed in a way that it's most likely to be chosen? For example: if you like people to subscribe to something for a small periodical fee, it helps if you can place the amount in a frame that immediately makes sense to people like 'Subscribe now for less than a cup of thee a day'.

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