Less-is-better effect

A lesser option is preferred when evaluated separately. But when evaluated together, this effect disappears.


  • A person giving a $45 scarf (from scarves ranging from $5-$50) as a gift was perceived to be more generous than one giving a $55 coat (from coats ranging from $50-$500)
  • On overfilled ice cream serving with 7 oz of ice cream was valued more than an under-filled serving with 8 oz of ice cream
  • Dinnerware set with 24 intact pieces was judged more favourably than one with 31 intact pieces (including the same 24) plus a few broken ones.