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Social-comparison bias

Reviewed by expert Scientifically proven

Sure, social-comparison bias is a cognitive bias that influences our behavior and decision-making by comparing ourselves to other people. Our perception of ourselves often depends on how we compare ourselves to others. This bias can either positively or negatively affect our self-esteem and behavior, depending on whether the comparison is favorable or unfavorable. In the context of marketing and website design, social-comparison bias can be used to influence user behavior by presenting information in a way that encourages positive comparisons with others.

Table of contents:
  1. How the Social-Comparison Bias Influences Decision-Making
  2. How to Use Social-Comparison Bias in Website Design
    1. Use Social Proof
    2. Highlight the Success of Others
    3. Emphasize Scarcity
  3. Conclusion

The Social-Comparison Bias

Social-comparison bias refers to the tendency people have to compare themselves to others. This can manifest in a variety of ways, such as comparing oneself to others in terms of status, wealth, intelligence, attractiveness, or social media popularity. This bias can have both positive and negative effects on individuals and on their decision-making processes.

How the Social-Comparison Bias Influences Decision-Making

The social-comparison bias can play a significant role in how individuals make decisions. For example, it can lead people to conform to group norms or to follow the behaviors of perceived "experts". It can also lead individuals to make decisions that reflect positively on their social status or self-esteem.

This bias can also impact individuals' perceptions of the risks and benefits of certain actions. For example, if a person sees others engaging in a particular behavior, they may be more likely to do so as well, even if it is risky or not in their best interest. Alternatively, if a person sees a decision as leading to increased social status or positive self-image, they may perceive that decision as more beneficial than it actually is.

How to Use Social-Comparison Bias in Website Design

As a marketer or website owner, understanding the social-comparison bias can be beneficial in improving your website's conversion rate. Here are some ways to implement it:

Use Social Proof

Adding social proof to your website can help individuals perceive your product or service as more popular and desirable. This can be done in various ways, such as displaying the number of downloads, likes, or positive reviews of your product. Testimonials from satisfied customers can also build credibility and trust with potential customers.

Highlight the Success of Others

Featuring success stories of previous customers or showcasing the popularity of a particular product can create a sense of social conformity. If others have had success with your product or service, potential customers may believe that they too will experience similar success.

Emphasize Scarcity

Limited stock or a limited-time offer can create a sense of urgency and scarcity. Individuals may feel that if they do not act quickly, they may miss out on the benefits of the product or service. By creating a sense of scarcity, you are playing into the fear of missing out (FOMO) bias, which can be a powerful motivator for individuals to make a decision.


The social-comparison bias can have a significant impact on individuals' decision-making processes. As a marketer or website owner, understanding this bias can help you to improve your website's conversion rate by implementing design elements that take advantage of social conformity, trust, and FOMO. By highlighting the success of others, emphasizing scarcity, and using social proof, you can effectively use the social-comparison bias to influence individuals' decision-making processes.

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