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誘惑你多花錢的訣竅

更新時間:2019/10/6 8:37:19 來源:紐約時報中文網 作者:佚名

The trick that makes you overspend
誘惑你多花錢的訣竅

When you buy a cup of coffee, you might have noticed that of the three size options – small, medium and large – the medium-sized serving often costs almost as much as the large. Given the apparent bargain, have you ever opted for the biggest and most expensive option?

你買一杯咖啡,可能已經注意到,大、中、小三種容量——中杯價格幾乎和大杯差不多。為了這明顯的小便宜,你是否曾經選擇過最大杯最貴的?

If so, you have been nudged by a cognitive bias known as the “decoy effect”, in which the deliberate presentation of an additional, slightly less attractive option – in this case, the relatively expensive medium-sized coffee – pushes you to pay out more money than you would have rationally chosen. “If you frame options in a certain way, you can nudge people in the direction of higher-priced products,” says Linda Chang, a psychologist at Harvard University.

如果這樣,你就被一種名為“誘餌效應”的認知偏見所蠱惑。這種認知偏見會提出一項不太吸引人的額外選擇——比如相對昂貴的中杯咖啡,誘使你支付超出理性選擇的錢。哈佛大學心理學家琳達·張(Linda Chang音譯)表示:“如果你以特定方式設計選項,就能推動人們轉而選擇價格更高的產品。”

The decoy effect was first investigated as a potential marketing strategy to influence consumer choices such as this, but the latest research shows that it could also have potent effects in recruitment, healthcare, even politics. It shows us just how easily our judgement is swayed by the context in which the facts are presented – even when that additional information may have no bearing on the overall judgement.

最初研究誘餌效應,是將其作為一種潛在的營銷策略,用以影響消費者選擇。但最新研究表明,它也可在招聘、醫療、甚至政治方面產生強大的影響。它表明,呈現事實的過程中,我們的判斷是多么容易受到周圍環境的影響——即使那些額外信息可能沒有干擾整體判斷。

By learning about the decoy effect, you may become less susceptible to this unconscious influence. You may even discover ways to put it to your own use as a tool for persuasion.

理解誘餌效應,你會較少被這種不自知的意識所影響。你甚至可能把它作為說服別人的工具。

Like many of the now infamous cognitive biases that plague our thinking, the decoy effect was first documented in the 1980s, and the best way to understand these experiments is to consider an example.

與困擾我們的許多認知偏見一樣,誘餌效應在20世紀80年代首次被記錄下來。最好的理解方法是看一下這個例子。

Imagine you are choosing flights from the following options.

假設您正在從以下選項中選擇航班。

Flight A costs $400 with a stopover of 60 minutes.

A航班價格400美元,中途停留60分鐘。

Flight B costs $330 with a stopover of 150 minutes.

B航班票價330美元,中途停留150分鐘。

Flight C costs $435 with a stopover of 60 minutes.

C航班票價435美元,中途停留60分鐘。

In this case, the researchers found that most people would choose Flight A, since it is cheaper than Flight C, but with a shorter waiting time – even though it is considerably more expensive than B.

在這種情況下,研究人員發現大多數人會選擇A航班:它比C航班便宜,而且又比B航班停留時間更短,雖然價格比B航班貴很多。

Now look at a different set of flights:

現在看看另一組航班組合:

Flight A costs $400 with a stopover of 60 minutes.

A航班價格400美元,中途停留60分鐘。

Flight B costs $330 with a stopover of 150 minutes.

B航班票價330美元,中途停留150分鐘。

Flight C costs $330 with a stopover of 195 minutes.

C航班價格330美元,中途停留195分鐘。

In this scenario, most people’s preference is now Flight B.

在這種情況下,大多數人的首選是B航班。

Logically speaking, that makes no sense: B should be no more attractive now than in the first example because the waiting time and price are still exactly the same. But the change in Flight C – to have an even longer stopover – has altered the way the participants perceived the other possibilities, so that now they preferred to suffer a longer waiting time for a cheaper price.

從邏輯上講,B航班沒有任何變化:第二個組合中的B航班和第一個組合的B航班,無論是停留時間和價格都完全相同。但是由于C航班的改變,中途停留時間更長,價格變得和B航班一樣,因此就改變了參與者對航班選擇的感受。所以第二個例子中,他們寧愿忍受更長時間的等待,以獲得更便宜的價格。

In each case, Flight C – “the decoy” – was designed to appear similar to, but slightly less attractive than one of the other options (the “target”). And that comparison boosts the target’s perceived desirability. Experiments examining choices such as these have found the use of a well-designed decoy such as this can shift opinion between the other two options by as much as 40% – showing just how easily our decisions can be swayed by the way they are framed.

在各種情況下,C航班這個“誘餌”都與設計者期望勝出的目標選項相似,但吸引力略低。這種對比會增強目標的受歡迎程度。研究這類選擇實驗發現,使用精心設計的誘餌,可以改變多達40%的觀點。這表明我們的決定很容易被選項設計方式所左右。

Crucially, as the first scenario shows, this placement of a dud option can even mean that the consumer is willing to pay more money – making the decoy effect of very keen interest to marketers.

至關重要的是,正如買咖啡場景所顯示的那樣,設置無用選項甚至可能意味著消費者愿意支付更多的錢,從而產生營銷人員非常感興趣的誘餌效應。

Psychologists still debate the exact reasons for this particular effect, but one idea is that the comparison with the decoy offers us an easy justification for an otherwise arbitrary decision. If you were to compare just A and B, it’s hard to know exactly how to appraise the trade-offs between cost and waiting time – how much money is 90 minutes’ extra wait really worth? But if one option is obviously better than the decoy – Flight C – on one of those measures, you have a ready-made reason to explain your preference.

心理學家們仍在爭論這種特殊效應的確切原因,但有一種觀點是,將其與誘餌進行比較,為我們提供了一個很容易的理由,來為一個原本武斷的決定辯護。如果只比較A航班和B航班,很難確切知道如何評估成本和等待時間之間的關系——90分鐘的額外等待時間到底值多少錢?但是,如果其中一個選項明顯優于誘餌(C航班),那么你就有現成的理由來解釋自己的選擇喜好。

These patterns of behaviour have been observed for many different kinds of goods – from beer to TVs, cars and houses: an unattractive third option changes people’s preferences between the two other possibilities.

從啤酒到電視、汽車和房子,對許多不同種類的商品,人們都觀察到了這種行為模式。

In his book, Predictably Irrational, Dan Ariely described how The Economist uses a decoy effect to encourage readers to opt for a more expensive subscription to its magazine. In this case, the publishers offered a digital subscription for just $59, a print subscription for $125 and a third option of a combined print and online subscription for the same price – $125. The print-only choice here is clearly a decoy, since it offers less than the print and online package for the same price, but Ariely found that its mere presence substantially increased uptake of the combined subscription (rather than the digital only). Indeed, when only two options were available, readers were 52% more likely to go for the much cheaper online-only option, compared to a choice involving a third decoy.

在《可預測的怪誕行為學》(Predictably Irrational)一書中,作者艾瑞里(Dan Ariely)描述了《經濟學人》雜志如何利用誘餌效應,鼓勵讀者選擇更昂貴的訂閱方式。出版商提供的數字版訂閱僅為59美元,印刷版訂閱為125美元,第三個選項是印刷版和數字版訂閱結合,價格相同,也是125美元。那個只提供印刷版的選項顯然是一個誘餌,因為它提供的產品明顯劣于印刷版和數字版結合。艾瑞里發現,它的存在,大大增加了合并訂閱(而不是數字版訂閱)的使用量。事實上,當只有第一和第三這兩個選項時,讀者選擇最便宜的數字版訂閱的可能性比有三個選項時高52%。

The decoy effect may also be rife in sales of high-end goods. A recent paper from the University of British Columbia has documented the influence of the decoy effect on the diamond market, finding that the presence of slightly inferior, but equally expensive products can contribute more than 20% of the retailers’ profits.

在高端商品銷售中,這種誘餌效應也很普遍。英屬哥倫比亞大學(University of British Columbia)最近的一篇論文記錄了鉆石市場的誘餌效應。該論文發現,質量稍差但同樣昂貴的鉆石產品,可以為零售商貢獻逾20%的利潤。

Not everyone is equally susceptible to the decoy effect. In line with the research on other cognitive biases, the researchers have found that it depends on your thinking style. Questionnaires, for instance, can determine whether some people are more prone to listening to their gut feelings, or whether they are more analytical and prefer deliberative reasoning. (It is the more intuitive thinkers who are most likely to be swayed by a decoy.)

并非所有人都容易受到誘餌效應的影響。根據對認知偏見的研究,研究人員發現這取決于個人的思維方式。例如,問卷調查可以確定一些人是否更傾向于服從他們的直覺,或者更善于分析,更喜歡深思熟慮的推理。(直覺更好的人最有可能受到誘惑。)

Interestingly, hormones can play a part in that: higher levels of testosterone, for instance, tend to make people more impulsive, which means they are more susceptible to the decoy effect. (Even more evidence that the historic notion of biological men as the “rational sex” is completely unfounded). The decoy effect is also prevalent in group decision making – we can’t rely on others to debias our thinking.

有趣的是,激素也會起到一定的作用:例如,睪丸激素水平越高,越容易沖動,這意味著他們更容易受誘餌效應的影響。甚至有更多證據表明,生物學意義上的男性是“理性性別”,這一歷史性概念是完全沒有根據的。 誘餌效應在集體決策中也很普遍——我們不能依賴他人來消除我們的思維偏見。

Besides identifying who is more or less vulnerable, scientists have also explored the decoy effect in different circumstances, besides consumer decisions. Ariely, for instance, has found that it might be present in dating. According to his research, we tend to fancy someone more if they appear alongside a “decoy” who is similar looking, but slightly less attractive. That’s worth remembering if you are flicking through profiles on Tinder – your perceptions of someone’s attractiveness will depend on who came before or after.

除了確定誰更容易受影響外,科學家們還探索了除了消費之外其他情況下的誘餌效應。例如,艾瑞里發現它可能存在于約會中。根據他的研究,如果一個人和另外一個長相相似但吸引力稍低的“誘餌”一起出現,我們往往會更喜歡這個人。如果你正在瀏覽Tinder(婚戀交友網站)上的個人資料,這點是值得注意的。你對某人魅力的評判將取決于誰在他/她之前或之后出現過。

The decoy effect might also influence our voting in elections, and recruitment decisions. In these kinds of situations, the “decoy” may appear by accident rather than having been deliberately placed in the selection, but if you do come across two candidates who are similar, but one is slightly superior to the other, it will heighten your regard for them compared to the other competitors.

誘餌效應也可能影響我們的選舉投票和招聘決定。在這些情況下,“誘餌”可能是意外出現而不是被故意設計為選項,但如果你遇到的兩個候選人是類似的,其中一個略優于另一位,你對他的關注度會比其他競爭對手更高。

Chang, who has conducted research on the decoy effect on hiring decisions, wonders if this may become a particular issue as algorithms begin to screen candidates and present options to recruiters. “It could be the case that you're presenting choices consisting of decoys, and so you're actually pushing people in favour of some options,” she says. It’s not just recruiters who may be affected: recent experiments suggest the decoy effect can also influence the potential employee’s choices of workplace benefits.

琳達·張對招聘決定中的誘餌效應進行了研究,她想知道,隨著算法開始篩選候選人并向招聘者提供選項,這是否會成為一個特別的問題。她說:“可能擺在你面前的,是由誘餌組成的選項,實際上是在鼓勵招聘者選擇某些選項。”不僅招聘人員可能會受到影響,最近的實驗表明,誘餌效應也會影響應聘人員對工作單位福利的選擇。

On a more positive note, scientists in the UK have also started to consider whether the decoy effect might be used to encourage people to make healthier life choices. Christian Von Wagner, a reader in behavioural science and health at University College London, for instance, recently explored people’s intentions to undergo a vital – but unpleasant – screening for colorectal cancer. He found that given the choice between arranging an appointment for the screening or not having the procedure at all, many people chose not to go. But if he also presented them with a third option – an appointment at a less convenient hospital with a longer waiting time, ie, the decoy – the uptake was greater.

更積極的一面是,英國科學家也開始考慮誘餌效應是否可以用來鼓勵人們選擇更健康的生活。例如,倫敦大學學院(University College London)行為科學與健康的研究員瓦格納(Christian Von Wagner),最近就探討了人們對重要但令人不快的結腸直腸癌篩查的態度。他發現,如果要在接受一次檢查或不做檢查之間做出選擇,許多人選擇不做。但如果同時給他們提供第三種選擇——在不太方便、等待時間較長的醫院預約,即設置誘餌,他們會受強烈影響。

As we saw with the other examples, this wasn’t because people chose the undesirable decoy – it simply made the screening at the original hospital appear less burdensome. In later work, Von Wagner also offered female participants the option to be examined by a doctor of the same gender (the preference) or a different gender (the decoy). Once again, the presence of the decoy increased people’s intentions to undergo the procedure. “It was very clear evidence for the presence of the decoy effect,” Von Wagner says – and proved to be more effective than other strategies, such as trying to appeal to people’s conformity by emphasising the number of other people who were also taking the test.

正如我們在其他例子中所看到的,這并不是因為人們選擇了不受歡迎的誘餌,它只是讓起初那家醫院的篩查顯得不那么繁重。在后來的研究中,瓦格納還讓女性參與者選擇由性別相同的醫生(偏好)或性別不同的醫生(誘餌)進行檢查。誘餌的存在再一次增加了人們接受篩查的意愿。瓦格納表示:“這是非常明確的證據,證明了誘餌效應的存在。”事實證明,這種策略比其他策略更有效,比如通過強調參加篩查者的數量來吸引人的從眾心理。

Here the decoy effect might save lives. But we could all apply its principles to hone our own persuasive skills in our personal and professional lives. If you are discussing travel plans with friends, for instance, and haven’t decided yet where to go, you might present two alternative arrangements at your city of choice, but one with a slightly more expensive hotel. Even if your friends might have otherwise selected a different location, the comparison might just prime them to opt for your preferred option.

在這里,誘餌效應可能會挽救生命。但我們都可以在個人和職業生涯中運用它來提升自己的說服技巧。例如,如果你正在和朋友討論旅行計劃,但還沒有決定去哪里,你可能會在你選擇的城市提出兩種不同的安排,但其中一種是稍貴一些的酒店。這樣,即使你的朋友可能已經選擇了另外的城市,這種比較可能讓他們認同你的首選。

Just don’t be a victim of it yourself. Whether you are buying headphones or deciding on a retirement plan, deliberately ask whether you are really choosing the option you need or want, with the attributes you were originally seeking, or whether you were distracted by a deliberately unappealing alternative. Like an expert sniper trained to avoid false targets, you may find that your judgement suddenly becomes a lot more incisive.

只是你自己不要成為它的受害者。無論你是在買耳機,還是在決定退休計劃,你都要謹慎地問自己,你是否真的選擇了你需要或想要的東西,你的選擇是否你的初心所尋,還是你被一個故意設置的糟糕選擇分散了注意力。就像一個訓練有素的狙擊手,需要避免錯誤目標,可能會發現他的判斷突然變得更加敏銳。

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