When faced with a snap decision, people will reliably pick the first option they're given.
Let's try an experiment. You walk into a car dealership and the salesman shows you a blue car. Then he takes you across the lot and shows you a black car. Knowing nothing else, which car do you choose?
If you're like most people, chances are you were tempted to pick the blue car. If you didn't -- congratulations, you're a weirdo.
According to researchers at the University of California-Berkeley, humans tend to grant cognitive privilege to the first in a series of things whenever they have to make a snap judgement. That's because we, along with all sorts of other animals, are biologically primed to weight first things with more importance. Consider imprinting among birds, or the benefits afforded by alpha status in a pack of wolves.
The Berkeley scientists ran three experiments. In the first experiment, 123 participants were asked to choose a team after being presented with options that were introduced sequentially (the teams in each set shared similar names and genders for consistency's sake). In the second experiment, the researchers approached random people riding the Boston subway and asked them to choose between Bubble Yum and Bubblicious bubble gum after placing each piece of gum sequentially onto a white clipboard. And in the third experiment, participants were shown various pictures, in order, of two 29-year-old Florida convicts that had committed the same violent crimes.