Option Set Change

Changing the option set where you/your offering is included is a way to manipulate the context. It’s very similar to perceived contrast, but in this you’re not changing what you highlight of you or others – you’re literally changing the “others” you compare yourself to.

  • For example, I have a $50 book
    • If I compare it to just any book in the bookshop, which may average $10-20, it sure seems like the most expensive book;
    • But if I compare it to technical manuals ranging from $70-90, suddenly, it seems like the cheapest book;
    • Just by changing the option set, I changed how attractive it seems;

The Persuasion Psychology Behind the Technique

Changing the option works because it changes the context. Anything can seem better or worse if you simply change what you compare it to. In this case, we’re optimizing how good something seems in comparison.

Simply pick out different option sets that you can compare yourself (or your product/service to) and choose the one that makes you seem the best.


(2 in Total)


Manipulated numbers

When you see shady sales tactics, this is one of the techniques they use. “This medication is the best”. The best for whom? For which option set?


Overfitting or curve fitting is an effect caused by training a computer algorithm with a very specific set of examples that are too similar. In short, the option set for the algorithm is very specific, and it doesn’t work for a bigger option set. It may be the goal… or a negative consequence;

Pricing plans

As we stated, one of the most frequent examples. When you have softwares with multiple paid plans, the options are manipulated so that you are driven to the middle option

Use Cases For the Four Quadrants

Key Takeaways
(3 Total)

How to Stack This Technique