The impact of experience on the tendency to accept recommended defaults

Yefim Roth, Greta Maayan Waldman, Ido Erev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Two preregistered web studies are presented that explore the impact of experience on the tendency to accept recommended defaults. In each of the 100 trials, participants (n = 180, n = 165) could accept a recommended default option or choose a less attractive prospect. The location of the options (left or right) was randomly determined before each trial. Both studies compared two conditions. Under Condition Dominant, the default option maximized participants’ payoff in all trials. Under Condition Protective, the default option protected the participants from rare losses and maximized expected return but decreased payoff in most trials. The results reveal a tendency to accept the default in Condition Dominant but the opposite tendency in Condition Protective. This pattern was predicted by assuming that in addition to promoting specific actions, the presentation of the default changes the set of feasible strategies, and choice between these strategies reflects reliance on small samples of past experiences.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere6
JournalJudgment and Decision Making
StatePublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s), 2024. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of Society for Judgment and Decision Making and European Association of Decision Making.


  • decisions from experience
  • nudge
  • recommendations
  • reverse default effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Decision Sciences
  • Applied Psychology
  • Economics and Econometrics


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