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Old 08-10-2016, 11:23 AM
 
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I was just laughing about this with some people who know me well. Whenever I'm presented with a handful of options, I tend to pick the middle one. People who know me can predict which choice I will make--the one in the middle.


If I'm buying something and there are 3 options: the most expensive (and presumably the fanciest), the least expensive (and presumably the most bare-bones), and the one in the middle, almost 100% of the time, I'm buying the one in the middle. Even if there are 5 or 7 options, I'm picking the middle one. If there are an even number, then my choice its between the two middle ones, and I pick one of them.


If I have several options about solving a problem, and there the most extreme option, the least extreme option, and something in the middle, I'm no doubt choosing the middle one.


I go to buy a cup of coffee, or a milkshake, I get the medium.


I'm asked if I want mild salsa, extra spicy salsa, or the medium, I pick the medium.


I don't gamble, but if you were to present me with 3-card Monty or that thing with a pea and 3 cups, I'll probably keep picking the middle one. I guess I feel like if I pick the left cup, and the pea is under the right cup, then I'm very wrong, but if I pick the middle one and the pea is under the right cup, then I'm only half-wrong.


Same for bigger choices, I guess if I picked a choice at one extreme and it later turns out that the best choice would have been the other extreme, then I'm WAY wrong and very regretful. But if I chose the middle choice then I feel only half regretful, because I was at least partly right.


Even if I were to be diagnosed with cancer some day, I'm sure I'll be presented with the most aggressive treatment option and the most conservative option, I'll probably ask if there is something in the middle.


Anyone else like this? What do you think makes us this way?
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Old 08-10-2016, 02:27 PM
 
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You're a moderate person and that's... okay! Not great. Not horrible. (I'm teasing... but it really IS okay.)
I think there are a lot of good reasons to be stuck in the middle with you... risky ventures are dangerous. And no risk at all can be boring. Middle ground is pretty good in most stuff. I think I may have the same tendencies now that you've brought the subject up. I'd often rather be safe than sorry, ya know?
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Old 08-10-2016, 05:45 PM
 
Location: Divided Tribes of America
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You also live in the middle latitudes. Good choice!
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Old 08-10-2016, 09:13 PM
 
Location: PA
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That's not really unusual. What I learned being in sales is that you offer three options; a basic but cheaper option, a better but more expensive, and the deluxe, high priced package. Most people picked the option in the middle.
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Old 08-12-2016, 02:22 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
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I am this way with major purchases. I almost always choose the option that is between the high priced thing with too many extras that can go bad, or the value prices option that might not give good service.

I also hate extremes-- political, emotional, color contrasts, fashion--you name it.

I do get upset though, so I don't know if this a temperament thing, and I like a certain amount of change and novelty. I hesitate to credit this to temperament. I don't know why I do this.
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Old 08-13-2016, 02:08 PM
 
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I'm like you, Tracy, in so many ways that you mentioned. To me this is a good thing. Moderation in everything may not be the most exciting way to live life, but it may be the safest and sanest and ultimately most rewarding.

Buddha had lived a life of indulgence in a palace and then starved himself living an ascetic's life, depriving himself of food and sleep. As he became enlightened, he acknowledged that neither way served him and that the only way to live was the golden mean inbetween the two extremes.

Not that I've done this recently since I now read the newspaper online (hello, 21st century!), but when I used to buy a newspaper, I always went to the middle, never the top or bottom!
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Old 08-18-2016, 07:06 PM
 
Location: Windham County, VT
10,631 posts, read 4,962,437 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swgirl926 View Post
That's not really unusual. What I learned being in sales is that you offer three options; a basic but cheaper option, a better but more expensive, and the deluxe, high priced package. Most people picked the option in the middle.
^This.

The Centre-Stage Effect, which applies not only to the physical positioning of items/products/options,
but is at work when a company offers three prices, sizes, versions of a thing:
the large/expensive, the middle/modestly priced, and the small/cheapest-
the "in between" is apparently what more folks go for.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/release...0830081536.htm

Quote:
Originally Posted by TracySam View Post
Same for bigger choices, I guess if I picked a choice at one extreme and it later turns out that the best choice would have been the other extreme, then I'm WAY wrong and very regretful. But if I chose the middle choice then I feel only half regretful, because I was at least partly right.
^What you say makes sense to me.

If I like all three options, and one of those is (in some way) "half this & half that", I might go for it,
so as to sort of "cover my bases" & "hedge my bets", lest I regret going for "all this-or all that".
Example: if I like chocolate & I like peanut butter, and don't want to have to pick only one or the other,
if the third option is halfway chocolate & halfway peanut butter, that might most appeal to me.

In other words, it's compromising with myself (and minimizing/managing risk),
when it's not obvious/clear that I really would enjoy one (extreme, singular) option more than the other.
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Old 08-18-2016, 11:26 PM
 
Location: Northeastern US
14,198 posts, read 9,117,185 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cloven View Post
The Centre-Stage Effect, which applies not only to the physical positioning of items/products/options, but is at work when a company offers three prices, sizes, versions of a thing: the large/expensive, the middle/modestly priced, and the small/cheapest-the "in between" is apparently what more folks go for.
Not always and not for everything.

My next door neighbor built a brand new home and ordered every conceivable deluxe option for it. Maybe the home itself was middle of the road in their universe of choices for all I know, but when it came to the choice itself, they maxed it out. There's something very subjective going on with that decision because when you do that you're never going to get your investment back out when you resell because the next buyer isn't going to want or care about all those things. And stranger yet, they ended up renting the home out and buying a different home and living there anyway.

I've seen people do similar things with cars as well.

I think some things are seen as comforting extravagances and status symbols and that overrides any "center stage effect", which probably applies to less psychologically important or symbolic choices like lawn mowers and end tables.
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Old 08-19-2016, 08:42 AM
 
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There are definitely those folks who insist on the "best" of everything. The highest-end stuff in their homes, the highest end options on their cars. I even know ordinary people (not wealthy) who insist on the "best" (in their opinion) medical care for minor issues.


Now I can see if you have a rare form of cancer, and the means, you might want to go to Sloan-Kettering or some other famous top-of-the-line provider. But there are lower and middle income people in the Philadelphia region who insist on driving upwards of 30 miles to go to Will's Eye Hospital for a small cornea scratch, or to CHOP if their kid has an earache. Their answer is always "I want the best!" Yeah, well, that's nice and everything, but for the stuff they're talking about, they would do perfectly fine with the "normal" care provided in all of our regional hospitals and healthcare providers.


Me? I'm still in the middle. If I have a moderate medical condition, I'm going to a moderate level provider. Not some slum Medicaid clinic, but not flying to Rochester MN to go to the Mayo Clinic either.


A lot of the "I want the best" folks, at least the ones I encounter, seem to have a lot of personal entitlement. Sure you have the right to buy whatever you want if you can afford it, but for a lot of them, their reason is simply "I deserve the best!" they probably would have been perfectly happy with the middle-of-the-road car option or the middle-of-the-road stereo system. But then they couldn't brag and show off. Even the medical "best" people: then they could brag about how they drove 30 miles in the middle of the night to Philly because their kid had a sty in his eye (i.e. "look what a great parent I am!").


I just figure, I'm an average person, with average income, so I go for the average thing, and I can't go wrong.
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