Do we prefer the most familiar option over the best option?

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A study published in Psychological Science found that people prefer a familiar option over a non-familiar one, even when they know it’s the worst option.

Volunteers played a game called Math Tower that was designed to be boring, unpleasant, and hard. Then, they were asked to choose between two games to play: Puzzle Castle, which had a logo similar to Math Tower’s, or Word Forest, which had a different logo. Some volunteers were told they had to make a certain number of points in order to have a chance to win a $50 gift card. All of them were told they wouldn’t make as many points with Puzzle Castle. Surprisingly, those who were under pressure to reach a performance benchmark chose the familiar game over the one that would give them more points.

Source: APA

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