How Mental Biases Distort Perceptions of MBA Program Rankings

When considering MBA programs and colleges that move up in published rankings, people are most impressed when the movement crosses a round-number category, such as from number 11 to number 10, as opposed to moving from 10 to 9, say Mathew S. Isaac of Seattle University and Robert M. Schindler of Rutgers. This “top ten” effect shows that consumers mentally divide lengthy rankings into smaller sets of categories and exaggerate differences between numbers that cross category boundaries. Organizations that depend on their public rankings would do well to invest aggressively in improving their positions if doing so might push them into a higher round-number category, the research suggests.

SOURCE: The Top-Ten Effect: Consumers’ Subjective Categorization of Ranked Lists

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *