Important people sit in the middle

What is the centre-stage effect?

Imagine you’re at the supermarket choosing a bottle of washing-up liquid. In a row of products, which are you likely to reach for? In all likelihood it’s the one in the middle – this is known as the centre-stage effect. Dr Paul Rodway, a researcher at the University of Chester, UK, said the phenomenon can affect our choices in all kinds of areas. The science behind it. He and his colleagues asked 100 people to evaluate 17 rows of pictures – both horizontal and vertical – and say which they preferred. They found that more people favoured items located in the middle of the row than chance would dictate. “People may not be aware of this preference, but it may influence choice in a wide range of day-to-day settings, such as the products people buy in shops or via online shopping, the responses they provide in surveys, and potentially the people they select for a range of tasks or functions.” ….[READ]