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Ditching the 7

A useful tactic for getting honest feedback:

“Rate this on a scale from 1-10; you can’t choose 7.”

Humans are wired to avoid conflict, and if given the option people choose 7 more than any other number.

7 is safe: it is high enough to avoid hurt feelings, but not too high: we don’t want to empower false confidence.

6 is barely passing.

8 on the other hand, is a confident endorsement.

Both tell us a lot more than the safe option in between.

The answer might hurt. But if we’re looking for feedback that’s useful, we’re better off ditching the 7.