Our Comparisons

To appraise things, we compare them.

Have you been single? Here’s a surprising suggestion on the best way to entice potential dating partners at a club: bring along a friend who appears similar to you personally, simply is marginally less attractive. This will greatly increase your chances of success.


Our minds are simply wired to search for comparisons. What’s more, we tend to do that in the laziest way possible: by using the most easy comparisons around.

By showing up at a pub with a marginally less attractive version of yourself, you’re giving your potential dating partners a simple comparison. Instead of going to the trouble of comparing lots of different-seeming individuals, they can certainly see that you will be preferable for your friend. You’ll probably be seen as the cutest man at the club, since you won this simple contest and other comparisons are more difficult to make. Congratulations! Only don’t tell your friend why you’ve invited them out.

The same propensity to compare applies to costs of products, and many marketers make the most of this by introducing expensive “decoy products” that make other things seem not more expensive by comparison. For example, some eateries that are knowledgeable will deliberately overprice the most expensive item on their menu, so customers wind up ordering it and will then feel the second most expensive item is not comparatively more expensive.



An example, the above two screenshots on my Mac are almost identical, but seeing them next to each other makes you want to compare them. And there is a tiny, very subtle difference. See if you can spot it.

Additionally, it may make us depressed, though comparing helps us make decisions. Constantly comparing automobile, clothes or your salary will leave you envious and in a state of perpetual displeasure with what you have.


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