Evaluating Choice Blindness: Do You Know What You Want?

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Updated on Aug 06, 2013

“Choice blindness” refers to the phenomenon where people are blind to their own choices or preferences and are able to validate decisions they did not actually ever make. This experiment will evaluate whether men or women are more likely to demonstrate choice blindness.


This experiment will evaluate whether the phenomenon of “choice blindness” occurs more often with men or women.


  • Approximately 30 test subjects (15 men and 15 women)
  • 20 photos of non-celebrity, unknown (to test subjects) males
  • 20 photos of non-celebrity, unknown (to test subjects) females
  • Notebook for recording results


  1. Recruit 15 male and 15 female adult test subjects.
  2. Print 20 photos of non-celebrity, unknown males and 20 photos of non-celebrity, unknown females. The photos should be headshots that are approximately the same size, zoom, brightness, etc.
  3. Present two male photos side by side and ask a female test subject to tell you which person she finds more attractive.
  4. Take both photos away and present her with her chosen photo. Ask her to tell you why she chose that image.
  5. Record her answer.
  6. Repeat steps 3-5 ten times with the female test subject using different pairs of faces each time. In three of the trials, however, exchange one face for the other after the test subject makes her choice. In these three trials, closely observe your test subject. Does she notice that she is presented with the photo that she did not choose? Is she able to give a reason why she chose that photo (even though she actually did not choose the photo)?
  7. Repeat this experiment withall of your male and female test subjects. For your male test subjects, use the non-celebrity, unknown female photos that you chose.
  8. Analyze your results. How many times were you able to fool your female test subjects by presenting them with photos they did not choose? How many times were the male test subjects fooled? What conclusions can you draw about choice blindness in men and women?

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