Choice closure

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Choice closure

Physical acts of closure make us happier in our choice

Gu, Botti & Faro (2013) Turning the page: the impact of choice closure on satisfaction.


The backstory

We all change our minds. Or, more specifically anguish over this option, that option and other possible option we could have made.

Rereading a restaurant’s menu post-order, you’ll undoubtedly find something you want more than the meal you’ve already staked your evening's enjoyment and wallet on. You regret you didn’t order it as yours arrives at the table. You think of how great the other meal would have been.1

This same anguish is felt across all the choices we make... and don’t make.

By closing choices, we can stop this self-doubt and anguish. So increasing people’s satisfaction with their choice 2 and enjoyment in the experiences post-choice3.

The closure effect originated in physical retail environments. The same effects can carry across to digital and service environments. By actively getting people to close a form, interface or menu directly after they have made their choice, you can also close the choice they made.

It’s especially useful when you present a large number of options. Helping to overcome any limiting effects of the Paradox of Choice.


Start using

Ask yourself…

What if you broke down steps to increase the number of close effects?
What if you got people to physically close something at the end?
What if you mixed up how you communicate the end of a choice? Mixing written feedback, visual cues and interaction design.


1. Zeelenberg, Marcel (1999), Anticipated Regret, Expected Feedback, and Behavioral Decision Making, Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 12 (2), 93–106.

2. Small, R. V., and Venkatesh, M. (1995). The Impact of Closure on Satisfaction with Group Decision Making.

3. Gu, Y., Botti, S., and Faro, D. (2013). Turning the Page: The Impact of Choice Closure on Satisfaction, Journal of Consumer Research (40:2), pp. 268–283.