Using Option Presentation Formats to Nudge Consumers towards Better Choices


When people make choices, one of the fundamental decisions they make is whether to view all options together or one at a time. Managers, marketers, and policy makers also face a similar dilemma – whether they should present options simultaneously or sequentially. How do the two presentation format affect decisions?

Our empirical research (Basu & Savani, 2017a) was one of the initial studies to examine the psychological differences that underlie the two option presentation formats. Following this study, we communicated the managerial relevance of our findings in the Harvard Business Review (Basu & Savani 2017b) and built a conceptual framework of the effect of option presentation format on choice (Basu & Savani, 2019).

Our aim now is to explore how option presentation formats can be used to encourage better decisions such that it improves individual and societal well-being. For instance, our initial evidence shows option presentation formats can nudge people towards choosing more virtuous products (e.g. a more environment friendly appliance, a healthier snack). Results from another project show that viewing applicant’s profiles simultaneously increases gender diversity in the team composition.

Publications and outputs