Autonomy Bias

We have a deep-seated need to control our situations

Feeling power and choice over our future gives us certainty, motivation and lower stress. Autonomy is vital for successful behavior change.

Botti & McGill (2011). The locus of choice: Personal causality and satisfaction with hedonic and utilitarian decisions. Journal of Consumer Research.

The study

Setup

88 students were told about an exercise training camp and split into 2 groups: either having a choice about  the four fitness programs on offer or having one randomly assigned. They were then asked to rate their anticipated satisfaction of the program out of 9.

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Results

Those given some autonomy reported higher levels of anticipated satisfaction than those who weren’t.

np_read_2490885_000000

Botti & McGill (2011). The locus of choice: Personal causality and satisfaction with hedonic and utilitarian decisions. Journal of Consumer Research.

Key Takeaways

Choice = autonomy = certainty.  For instance, giving people a choice to still use the old version of your software platform for a given timeframe will reduce anxiety and uncertainty.

Product type matters. People desire autonomy for pleasure purchases (i.e. vacations) more than for practical ones (i.e. business trips). Place more  focus on the former in order to maximise feelings of control and consumer satisfaction (Botti & McGill, 2011).

Change behavior with the ‘4As’. Feeling that any change originated from within is vital. Ask about the behavior, advise them impartially of the facts and of better routes, but that they must make their own choice. If keen to change, assist them to make a commitment to do so by a given date, and arrange a follow-up to support this behavior change.

Autonomy Bias

We have a deep-seated need to control our situations

Feeling power and choice over our future gives us certainty, motivation and lower stress. Autonomy is vital for successful behavior change.

Botti & McGill (2011). The locus of choice: Personal causality and satisfaction with hedonic and utilitarian decisions. Journal of Consumer Research.

The study

Setup

88 students were told about an exercise training camp and split into 2 groups: either having a choice about  the four fitness programs on offer or having one randomly assigned. They were then asked to rate their anticipated satisfaction of the program out of 9.

Results

Those given some autonomy reported higher levels of anticipated satisfaction than those who weren’t.

Key Takeaways

Choice = autonomy = certainty.  For instance, giving people a choice to still use the old version of your software platform for a given timeframe will reduce anxiety and uncertainty.

Product type matters. People desire autonomy for pleasure purchases (i.e. vacations) more than for practical ones (i.e. business trips). Place more  focus on the former in order to maximise feelings of control and consumer satisfaction (Botti & McGill, 2011).

Change behavior with the ‘4As’. Feeling that any change originated from within is vital. Ask about the behavior, advise them impartially of the facts and of better routes, but that they must make their own choice. If keen to change, assist them to make a commitment to do so by a given date, and arrange a follow-up to support this behavior change.

Autonomy Bias

We have a deep-seated need to control our situations

Feeling power and choice over our future gives us certainty, motivation and lower stress. Autonomy is vital for successful behavior change.

The study

Setup

88 students were told about an exercise training camp and split into 2 groups: either having a choice about  the four fitness programs on offer or having one randomly assigned. They were then asked to rate their anticipated satisfaction of the program out of 9.

Results

Those given some autonomy reported higher levels of anticipated satisfaction than those who weren’t.

np_read_2490885_000000

In detail

Connected to

Running workshops?

Autonomy Bias

is included in Box One of our physical workshop tool.
is included in Box Two of our physical workshop tool.
Box One