How using Psychology helps Netflix to better their user experience


Whether you want to hear it or not – most of your choices are predefined, and they can be evaluated with the help of simple psychology law. Streaming websites are innovative, as they have a business to run – they do all they can to attract and retain customers on their platform.

Netflix is the biggest streaming giant making it one of the most competitive among them. It wants to retain its users and increase its community, which comprises 15% of the global internet traffic.

Have you ever wondered why you switch to a new show after finishing the last one even though you have chores to complete? Why do you keep asking for more in an attempt to watch everything available on Netflix? 

These questions serve as the basis for the design and content of various Netflix description sites, including It is specifically tailored to help the users pick a VPN that can unblock foreign Netflix libraries. We wanted to know what motivates the users to pay for a VPN service to watch everything on Netflix. 

The answer to all the questions can be easily found with these basic psychology concepts indicating basic human behavior.  

  1. The Reciprocity Principle
  2. Cocktail Party Effect
  3. Idleness Aversion
  4. The Peak-End Rule
  5. The Paradox of Choice

The Reciprocity Principle

What is it?

Remember the feeling when someone does something for you, and you want to pay their kindness with kindness? The Reciprocity Principle is the psychological terminology for it. 

“You’ve got to give to get.”

If the user is asked about any possible changes and those changes are implemented – it will be an innate decision to check the services. 

How Netflix use it?

Netflix asks possible subscribers what they will want to know before signing up for the service. The answer was ‘complete library option.’ Though the result of the feedback, when implemented, distracted the users, Netflix used the input to provide a specific selection with a hint of other categories users can enjoy.

Cocktail Party Effect

What is it?

Everyone likes the information specific to them. You are more likely to buy from a retailer who knows your name, preferences, and idea of what you want. This concept is known as the ‘ Cocktail Party Effect ’ in psychological terms. 

How Netflix use it?

Netflix is customer-obsessed. It wants to focus on the users’ choices, preferences, and retention. ‘Because you watched’ category is selecting the content based on what type of content you have searched for and watched. 

In most cases, they are highly related to the type of content you usually enjoy. The selection is the practical implementation of the ‘Cocktail Party Effect’ reflecting that Netflix is the considerate retailer. 

Idleness Aversion

What is it?

The concept of ‘Idleness Aversion’ specifies that people are most happy when busy, even if they are forced to be busy. Even though people have many reasons for various activities, it comes to hating not doing anything.

How Netflix use it?

Netflix wants you to remain busy. The upcoming show information and trailer is the most effective approach to keep the user busy even though you are forced to be busy – if it is making you happy, why not!

The Peak-End Rule

What is it?

The experience reflects your emotions at the peak points of the incident. This concept is known as the Peak-End Rule. For instance, you can say that your last vacation was a horrible experience, but when you try to think about the reason, it will become clear that this statement is based on the lousy return trip. .

How Netflix use it?

Netflix wants to say goodbye to the users on a positive note, and it is a strategy to implement the Peak-End Rule. Rather than involving you in the tedious job of unsubscribing from multiple sites and sending an email to separate addresses – it gives you a simple approach to cancel membership. 

Even though the experience itself was lousy, the cancel subscription approach will leave you with a positive reflection of the application. Smart right? 

The Paradox of Choice

What is it?

The Paradox of Choice explains why unlimited choices should not be provided to the users. For instance, if a user is asked to select a yogurt from 50+ options, there are fewer actual purchases. If the same user is given, say 5 or 10 choices, the purchase increases. 

The concept is often used to enhance the user experience, decrease bounce rate, and increase the chances of satisfying user’s needs. 

How Netflix use it?

Netflix limits the choices of the users based on the previous searches. Even though the library offers hundreds of choices, the user will leave the platform without watching anything if they are visible on the homepage. Limiting the content selection is the most effective implementation of the concept of The Paradox of Choice. 

Bottom Line

Fine-tuning the services to keep the users engaged and entertained is an ongoing process and should be treated such. Netflix experimented with multiple approaches, and the current selections are the result of trial and error. 

The use of psychological concepts to attract new users and retain them is smart, and we don’t expect anything less than brilliant from Netflix. A fantastic idea, advanced technologies, and implementation of psychological concepts seem like the perfect recipe for success.