Curiosity EffectOpen Access

Curiosity Effect

We're driven to seek missing info that closes our knowledge gap

Our intense, spontaneous desire to close the void between what we know and what we don’t means that…

Hill et al. (2016). Shopping under the influence of curiosity: How retailers use mystery to drive purchase motivation. Journal of Business Research.

The study

Setup

105 people were shown an online promotional offer, with the final offer value of 40% revealed either immediately or only at checkout.

Results

Those in the extended curiosity condition were more likely to buy with the promotion than those who were told of the offer value immediately.

Study graph

Key Takeaways

…curiosity will always be effective.

A recent campaign by Cancer Research UK to fill missing letters of the second-most common cause of cancer led to a 22% increase in its awareness. 

How can you use curiosity to drive a desire to learn about a new product or important message?

Takeaway image

Create positive curiosity.

Vacation company srprs.me let you choose the number of people, dates and continent. You then get a scratch card to reveal your destination…but only at the airport!

Takeaway image

Use to convert free to paid.

Popular dating app Bumble uses curiosity to drive conversions. People who’ve already liked you are shown, but with their faces pixelated and no further information shown. Users are then prompted to buy BumbleBoost to close the information void.

Takeaway image
Takeaway image
Curiosity Effect

Curiosity Effect

We're driven to seek missing info that closes our knowledge gap

Our intense, spontaneous desire to close the void between what we know and what we don’t means that…

The study

Setup

105 people were shown an online promotional offer, with the final offer value of 40% revealed either immediately or only at checkout.

Results

Those in the extended curiosity condition were more likely to buy with the promotion than those who were told of the offer value immediately.

study graph
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In detail

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Open access, foundational Nuggets

Scarcity

Scarcity

We value things more when they’re in limited supply

Social Proof

Social Proof

We copy the behaviors of others, especially in unfamiliar situations

Prospect Theory

Prospect Theory

A loss hurts more than an equal gain feels good

Reciprocity

Reciprocity

We’re hardwired to return kindness received

Framing

Framing

We make very different decisions based on how a fact is presented

Loss Aversion

Loss Aversion

We feel more negative when losing something than positive when we gain it

Default Effect

Default Effect

We tend to accept the option pre-chosen for us

Anchoring

Anchoring

What we see first affects our judgement of everything thereafter

Fast & Slow Thinking

Fast & Slow Thinking

We make knee-jerk spontaneous decisions that can cause regretful damage

Dynamic Norms

Dynamic Norms

We’re more likely to change if we can see a new behavior developing

Salience

Salience

Our choices are determined by the information we're shown

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Limited Choice
We’re more likely to decide when the options are sensibly restricted

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• The theory behind why choice is so important, yet also the pitfalls from too much of it
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