Ambiguity Breeds Avoidance

A Little Clarity on the ‘Ambiguity Effect’ and How to Keep it From Hurting Conversions

Everybody likes a sure thing. Life is easier if you know what’s going to happen next or what you can expect in return for your investment, or for any effort. It just seems fair: If I do this, I know I’ll get that. It’s different when “that” is not well defined. We’re less likely to put our effort or money toward something that is ill-defined, ambiguous or unknown. If there’s a choice, we’ll go elsewhere. This is known as the “ambiguity effect.” It suggests that people prefer to choose an option with a known probability of a favorable outcome over an option where the probability is unknown. The “ambiguity,” or lack of information, creates a cognitive bias. ….[READ]

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