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Cognitive Biases

What is the Peak-End Rule?

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The peak-end rule is the theory that people judge experiences primarily by their peak and end. A peak is the most intense part of an experience and can be either positive or negative. The following are illustrative examples of the peak-end rule.


A television producer decides to end a show at the peak of its popularity in hopes of maximizing media sales.

Public Speaking

A talented speaker focuses on closing with something funny or stimulating that is unlikely to fall flat.

Customer Service

A restaurant owner is in the habit of surprising customers by giving them a free sample such as a small portion desert. The chef comes out and explains the dish as something new. By surprising customers, the business is able to generate memorable peaks.


A salesperson ends every negotiation by giving a little extra at the very end.

Customer Experience

Customers at a theme park don't remember the time they spent in line nearly so much as the peak experiences of the attractions themselves.
Overview: Peak-End Rule
The theory that people judge experiences primarily by their peak and end.
Related Concepts

Cognitive Biases

This is the complete list of articles we have written about cognitive biases.
Ambiguity Effect
Backfire Effect
Base Rate
Circular Reasoning
Cognitive Bias
Cognitive Dissonance
Complexity Bias
Crab Mentality
Creeping Normality
Curse Of Knowledge
Decoy Effect
Exposure Effect
False Analogy
False Hope
Fear Of Youth
Gambler's Fallacy
Golden Hammer
Halo Effect
Hindsight Bias
Negativity Bias
Optimism Bias
Peak-End Rule
Positive Bias
Sour Grapes
Survivorship Bias
Us vs Them
Victim Mentality
Wishful Thinking
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Cognitive Biases

A list of common cognitive biases explained.

Curse Of Knowledge

Why experts have trouble communicating.

Optimism Bias

An overview of optimism bias, including its surprising benefits.

Decoy Effect

A cognitive bias that is well known in marketing circles.

Biases vs Heuristics

The difference between biases and heuristics.

Information Cascade

A definition of information cascade with examples.

Functional Fixedness

A definition of functional fixedness with examples.

Boil The Frog

A definition of boil the frog, with examples.

Anecdotal Evidence

The definition of anecdotal evidence with examples.


The definition of scientism with examples.

Thought Processes

A list of thinking approaches and types.


A few logic terms explained.

Abstract Ideas

A few dangers of being too abstract.

Objective vs Subjective

The difference between objective and subjective.

Intellectual Diversity

A definition of intellectual diversity with examples.

Creative Value

The definition of creative value with examples.

Benefit Of Doubt

The definition of benefit of doubt with examples.


The definition of pessimism with examples.
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