How You Get Robbed From Your Choices?

You are getting robbed of your choices. Chances are that you don’t even notice this happening. And this technique is so effective that a large railroad company used it to increase their annual turnover by 40 million dollars. So how does that work?
Source: Lison Mage Youtube Channel

Text from the video,

When you have to make a choice, there is one thing you have to be careful of. 

You see, there is one sneaky technique known by many marketers, UX designers and poll makers that can influence your decision.

With this technique, the UK increased by 40% the participation in retirement plans.

With this technique, countries like France, Portugal and Austria got almost 100% of people accepting to be organ-donor. Whereas in other countries, such as Denmark or Germany, it’s barely reaching 10%.

With this same technique, an european railroad company increased her seat reservations from 9% to 47%, making an extra 40 millions dollars in annual turnover. 

So, what is it? What can make such a shift in the decision-making process of so many people?

Before sharing the answer, let me tell you a quote from Daniel Kahneman, psychologist and nobel-prize winner in economic sciences. He says: Thinking is to Humans what swimming is to cats; they can do it but they would prefer not to.

And what it means is that every day we have hundreds, even thousands of choices to make. From what we decide to wear, what we will have for lunch and how to best answer our upset customer. We simply can’t analyse every single situation, with all elements, in a rational way. 

First, it would be exhausting and second, we would probably not get much done during the day.

So our brain helps us. 

It avoids being overloaded with choices, and makes us take mental shortcuts. And one of them is used by marketers and ux designers to lead us into choosing a specific option. In fact, it would be more precise to say that they make us not choose. We surrender our choice.

And how can they do this? 

They set a default option. The absence of an answer will then automatically imply that we go for and accept the default option. The psychologist Dan Ariely explains this behavior in one of his TED Talks. He shows how countries could reach almost 100% consent for organ donation by simply switching the default option.

The countries with low consent rates had an opt-in form, namely you had to tick a box to agree to be an organ donor. Whereas the countries with high consent rates had an opt-out form. Meaning that you had to voluntarily remove yourself from the list of donors. If you didn’t tick the box to notify you did not want to give your organs, it was automatically considered that you agreed to be on the list.

Now, you can also use the default effect to your benefits in your daily life. 

If you want to get more energy when you wake up, swap your mobile phone for a water bottle, on your bed night table. So the first thing you do in the morning is rehydrating yourself, instead of getting hammered by dozens of notifications. 

If you want to save money, you might schedule an automatic transfer on a saving account triggered a few days after your paycheck. So you don’t have to think about how much and when to save.

If you find it hard to make a choice, design it so that you don’t have to choose by setting the desired outcome as the default option.

If you like this video, leave me a comment. And if you want more, follow me on my socials.

See you soon,


Picture of Lison Mage

Lison Mage

I help clever individuals and teams conquer overthinking and perform at their full potential. Together, we can go from a place of uncertainty and being paralyzed by doubt to gaining clarity on your current situation, where you want to go, and how to get you there!


Feeling Courageous and Want To Discover More?

Thank You!

Complete the form below to get your access to the free Gratitude course and I will contact you shortly after.

5DGC HR Registration Form

Get Started Now!

Complete the short form below to get your free access to the 5-Day Gratitude Challenge.
5DGC Registration Form

Join Us!

Today, become part of the Growth Explorers Community.

Get inspiring and exclusive content to help you get more of what you want from Life, right in your inbox.