Graeme Newell

65719 The Default Effect

Default Effect

The default effect is our brain’s powerful inclination to stick with a default option, despite the fact it’s a meager choice.

1️⃣ When setting our personal development goals, we often go with the default goals that everyone else seems to pursue. For example, “I should reduce stress, eat better and exercise more.”

2️⃣ We go with the default ringtone, just like everyone else. This causes us to continually reach for our phone every time someone else gets a call.

3️⃣ Online shopping sites display “Top Picks” or “Recommended” options that we somehow feel strangely compelled to choose.

How can you avoid the default effect?

1️⃣ Go Self-Destructive.
Just for fun, imagine the most stupid choice you could make and the crazy consequences that would ensue. This little self-sabotaging romp can help snap you out of your lethargy.

2️⃣ Get Random.
Throw a dart, flip a coin or consult your dog, anything to break away from the default.

3️⃣ Dance It Out.
Do the “not-so-default shuffle.” Literally, get up and dance while considering your options. Let that new fancy footwork break the pattern and stimulate a new viewpoint.

4️⃣ Channel your Inner Sherlock Holmes.
Pretend you’re a detective and scrutinize every option like you’re solving the biggest mystery of the century. “Why yes, Watson! We’ve discovered the not-so-default choice!”

5️⃣ Go Time Traveling.
Hop in your imaginary DeLorean and head to Futureville. Chat with Future You about the choices they made. Did sticking with the default lead to a rocking life?