B.E. For Dogs: Decoy Effect!
B.E. for Dogs is a bi-weekly comic series that will examine concepts in behavioral economics from the perspective of our canine companions. Look out for new comics every other week!
Decoy Effect: Ivy the pup is having a tough time deciding between two really fun toys. One way to help her choose a particular toy is to provide a third option that’s just like one of the original choices but a little bit less enticing. This third option is called a “decoy” because we don’t expect anyone to choose an inferior option. The simple presence of the decoy enhances the attractiveness of one of the existing options. A good place to look for a decoy option is in price lists or menus. Check out this 1995 paper to learn about experiments on “asymmetric dominance” (AKA “the decoy effect”.)