The appeal of picking the first option

A breakfast menu is seen on a sidewalk stand February 22, 2010 in New York City. A new study out shows that if given a lot of options, for example on a restaurant menu, we are more likely to pick the first thing we see.

We live in a world full of options: 50 different kinds of cereal, hundreds of iPhone apps.

But a new study has found that people consistently choose the options that are thrown at us first.

Dana Carney did the study; she's at the University of California Berkeley's Haas School of Business. She's here to talk with us for today's Mid-day Extra.

She says that while it is unclear if this trend is recent or comes from deep-seated human needs going back centuries. But, it is something that both consumers and companies should be aware of.

About the author

Jeremy Hobson is host of Marketplace Morning Report, where he looks at business news from a global perspective to prepare listeners for the day ahead.
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I think I have heard about this. There are problems with A B studies because people tended to select the first option. I guess the only way to get around this problem is to do a double blind test. The substance would be switched around with the test group without the test group knowing.

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