A/B Testing Idea #263 - Do not offer customers only one possibility.

Tactic_Do not offer customers only one possibility.


A unique and effective tool of persuasion can in fact be to remind your customers that they have the freedom to choose what to do. Incorporating wording in your copy that emphasises to your customers that they have control over their actions and decisions on your site will reduce their psychological reactance. This occurs when we feel that someone or something limits our freedom of action or choice or that we are being compelled to do something, resulting in negative emotions and often a desire to do the opposite. So using terms such as "you are free", "it’s up to you" or "you can decide" is in fact a powerful way to give people a positive feeling of control and encourage them to indeed convert.

Inspired by Nick Kolenda 


  • Psychological Reactance (Brehm, 1966)
  • Illusion of Control (Ellen Langer, 1975)

The Research

Psychological Reactance

Psychological Reactance is something that occurs when we feel like our choices or behavioural freedoms are being restricted or taken away.

Illusion of Control
The Illusion of Control is the tendency to believe that we can control (or at least influence) our environment and, in particular, random phenomenons.

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