Less is Better: When Low-Value Options are Valued More Highly than High-Value Options

  title={Less is Better: When Low-Value Options are Valued More Highly than High-Value Options},
  author={Christopher K. Hsee},
This research demonstrates a less-is-better effect in three contexts: (1) a person giving a $45 scarf as a gift was perceived to be more generous than one giving a $55 coat; (2) an overfilled ice cream serving with 7 oz of ice cream was valued more than an underfilled serving with 8 oz of ice cream; (3) a dinnerware set with 24 intact pieces was judged more favourably than one with 31 intact pieces (including the same 24) plus a few broken ones. This less-is-better effect occurred only when the… 
'Three is better than two': Increasing donations with the attraction effect.
A clear and consistent pattern emerged: Participants chose the target alternative more frequently and perceived it as more beneficial (and somewhat less costly) when the decoy was present compared to when it was absent.
More evidence that less is better: Sub-optimal choice in dogs
Sub-optimal choice behavior in dogs using a simultaneous choice procedure is consistent with the suggestion that dogs’ assessment of the total value of multiple items is based, at least partly, on their average quality.
When Less is More: How Affect Influences Preferences When Comparing Low and High‐risk Options
Recent research involving the evaluability hypothesis has focused on how the presentation of hard to evaluate or easy to evaluate attributes influences preferences for options in either separate or
The Z-Effect: Why Good Is Good, but Better Is Better
Most preference construction research studies the response mode of choice. While such research is important, relatively little preference construction research has addressed the implications of
The Affect Heuristic and the Attractiveness of Simple Gambles
Prior studies have observed that the attractiveness of playing a simple gamble (7/36 to win $9; otherwise win nothing) is greatly enhanced by introducing a small loss (7/36 win $9; otherwise lose
Suboptimal choice by dogs: when less is better than more
The less is more effect, an example of an affect heuristic, can be shown in humans when they give greater value to a set of six baseball cards in perfect condition, than to the same set of six
Order Effects in Preference Judgments: Evidence for Context Dependence in the Generation of Preferences.
  • Moore
  • Psychology
    Organizational behavior and human decision processes
  • 1999
The cognitive processes at work in preference generation are explored, and process measures suggest the effect is attributable to the process by which people generate judgments of preference.
When Less Is More: Evolutionary Origins of the Affect Heuristic
The human mind is built for approximations. When considering the value of a large aggregate of different items, for example, we typically do not summate the many individual values. Instead, we appear


Preference Reversals between Joint and Separate Evaluations of Options: A Review and Theoretical Analysis
Arguably, all judgments and decisions are made in 1 (or some combination) of 2 basic evaluation modes-joint evaluation mode (JE), in which multiple options are presented simultaneously and evaluated
Reversals of preference in allocation decisions: Judging an alternative versus choosing among alternatives
Max H. Bazerman Northwestern University George F. Loewenstein Carnegie-Mellon University Sally Blount White Northwestern University This paper identifies a systematic instability in the weight that
Contingent weighting in judgment and choice
Abstract : Preference can be inferred from direct choice between options or from a matching procedure in which the decision maker adjusts one option to match another. Studies of perferences between
Compatibility effects in judgment and choice.
One of the main ideas that has emerged from behavioral decision research is a constructive conception of judgment and choice. According to this view, preferences and beliefs are actually constructed
Preferences, prices, and ratings in risky decision making.
Systematically different preference orders are obtained when different procedures are used to elicit preferences for gambles. Three new experiments found different preference orders with
When less is more: counterfactual thinking and satisfaction among Olympic medalists.
It is shown that bronze medalists tend to be happier than silver medalists, and the authors attribute these results to the fact that the most compelling counterfactual alternative for the silver medalist is winning the gold, whereas for the bronze medalist it is finishing without a medal.
Choice Based on Reasons: The Case of Attraction and Compromise Effects
Building on previous research, this article proposes that choice behavior under preference uncertainty may be easier to explain by assuming that consumers select the alternative supported by the best
Utility Measurement: Configural-Weight Theory and the Judge's Point of View
Subjects judged the values of lotteries from 3 points of view: the highest price that a buyer should pay, the lowest price that a seller should accept, and the "fair" price. The rank order of
The Evaluability Hypothesis: An Explanation for Preference Reversals between Joint and Separate Evaluations of Alternatives
This research investigates a particular type of preference reversal (PR), existing between joint evaluation, where two stimulus options are evaluated side by side simultaneously, and separate