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Contrast Effect

Contrast Effect


The Contrast Effect refers to the perception of one item or attribute and is influenced by its comparison to another that preceded it. The contrast effect can impact how consumers perceive the value, desirability, or attractiveness of a product or offer based on how it compares to others.


1. Pricing:

A consumer is comparing two similar laptops. Laptop A is £1,000, while Laptop B is £1,500. The consumer may perceive Laptop A as a better deal because it is cheaper, even if the actual value and features of both laptops are similar.


2. Product Display:

In a retail store, a store owner may place an expensive item next to a cheaper item to make the cheaper item appear more affordable and attractive. For example, a £1,000 watch may be next to a £5,000 watch, making the £1,000 watch seem like an affordable option and increasing the likelihood of a purchase.

Watches in a shop


Research studies have shown the impact of the contrast effect on consumer behaviour. For example, a study by Ariely and Loewenstein (2006) found that when consumers are presented with two options, they choose the one that is more attractive compared to the other. This suggests that it can significantly influence consumer decision-making.


Finally, the contrast effect is a cognitive bias that impacts how consumers perceive the value, desirability, or attractiveness of a product or offer based on its comparison to others. It can be used in conversion marketing to influence consumer decision-making by strategically positioning products or offers to create a contrast that makes them more appealing.

Useful Resources:

1. Conversion marketing – Glossary of Conversion Marketing.

2. Over 300 tools reviewed – Digital Marketing Toolbox.

3. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini – This book provides insights into various psychological principles, including the contrast effect.

Influence Book

4. “The Contrast Principle: How It Makes You More Persuasive” – This article by Conversion XL provides practical tips and examples to improve conversion rates.


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