Shining a Light on Dark Patterns
"This article provides the first public evidence of the power of dark patterns. It discusses the results of the authors’ large-scale experiment in which a representative sample of American consumers were randomly assigned to a control group, a group that was exposed to mild dark patterns, or a group that was exposed to aggressive dark patterns. All groups were told they had been automatically enrolled in an identity theft protection plan, and the experimental manipulation varied what acts were necessary for consumers to decline the plan. Users in the mild dark pattern condition were more than twice as likely to remain enrolled as those assigned to the control group, and users in the aggressive dark pattern condition were almost four times as likely to remain enrolled in the program."