Most effective and powerful psychological technique – Decoy effect

Decoy effect is a very effective and powerful psychological technique that marketing companies use to take advantage of the loopholes in our brain. The decoy effect is the phenomenon whereby consumers will tend to have a specific change in preference between two options when also presented with a third option that is asymmetrically dominated.


So, Lets assume there’s a movie theatre selling popcorn.
Small……..$3.00
Large……..$7.00

Nearly, every person bought the small. When asked why, they said they felt $7 is tad too costly for a popcorn.
Now after employing decoy effect, a median size “medium” was introduced (its sole purpose being a tool for comparison – that is, a decoy)
 Small……..$3.00
Medium…..$6.50
Large………$7.00
and these were the revised prices

popcorn price

Now, everyone bought the large because they felt large is reasonable because it is only 50 cents more than the medium.

Now, this is how decoy effect works : it’s how marketers take advantage of comparison shoppers. They sell multiple products with features and prices that will steer you to the one they really want to sell you.
All you have to do is stroll through a grocery store to see this happen again and again with different sizes of products and different prices. “I can get 24 cookies for $3 or 48 cookies for $5… but look over there, that bag of cookies has 36 cookies for $4.50. This 48 cookie bag is a real bargain!”

  Why women should not take men shopping?

If you notice keenly, they exploit this “comparison” loophole of our brain to sell the exact thing they want and what we don’t actually need.
Large pizzas, 1/2 kg flour, pen drives with extra storage.. They even use this technique for election campaigning.

Its really amazing how our brain can interpret differently if it just has a comparison medium. The decoy.

You may also like...