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Can you give some examples of too small and too big information gaps?

jeff monday


A great example of information gaps that are too small and too big comes from a study by Iyengar and Lepper.

In their experiment, Iyengar and Lepper posed as employees at a high end grocery market. They set up a table at the front of the store offering samples of jams. Each hour they would switch from offering 6 jars of jam to offering 24.

Their results were intriguing:

When 6 jars were presented: 40% stopped 30% bought.

When 24 jars were presented: 60% stopped 3% bought

It seems that 24 jars created too much of an information gap which Iyengar and Lepper believed led to decision paralysis and the customers not purchasing the jam.

They didn't study one jar of jam, but my inclination is that even less people would have stopped and their conversion rate of customers would have been lower than when six jars of jam were presented (too small of a gap).

I'll offer you one more example and it is a good lesson in understanding your audience. My grandma recently got a cell phone (unfortunately it was not an iPhone) and she does a great job of calling out on it (the call feature is a medium information gap based on her previous knowledge of how to use a wireline phone), but the other day I sent her a text message and never heard back. When I talked with her the following week she mentioned she received some weird message but wasn't sure what it was ( the text message feature creates too large of an information gap).

I hope these examples help. If you would like something more specific to your tumbleintopeace blog let me know and I will try and give a more specific example.


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