Article

The Maximizing Mind-Set

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Abstract

Getting the best has been advocated as an ideal in almost every domain of life. We propose that maximizing constitutes a mind-set that may be situationally activated and has cross-domain consequences. Specifically, we show that the maximizing mind-set amplifies regret and dissatisfaction, increases the likelihood of returning and switching products, and affects sensory experiences such as taste. The effect of the maximizing mind-set occurs only when consumers learn that they do not get the best but not when they do in fact get the best. We validate our conception of the maximizing mind-set by demonstrating its embrace of underlying processes of comparisons and goals.

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... We find that those with a maximizing mindset feel more perceived ownership and great choice confidence in the context of a large choice set when they can touch the items. A maximizing mindset has been shown to induce feelings of uncertainty about decisions and a lack confidence in making a choice, resulting in a higher probability of returning and switching chosen products (Ma & Roese, 2014). In sum, a maximizing mindset has been shown to have significant adverse effects on desired consumer behaviors, and only a handful of researchers have investigated the potential moderators (Schwartz, 2016). ...
... Research also points out that maximizers generally attain a superior objective outcome of the decision task versus others because they are willing to invest more time and mental resources into a search task to search longer, deeper, and for more options (Iyengar et al., 2006). A maximizing mindset also drives individuals to work harder, encourages them to search more deeply, and ultimately enhances their task performance (Ma & Roese, 2014). As such, people with a maximizing mindset may prefer large choice sets and appreciate the additional information acquired from touching items in these choice sets. ...
... As and requirements of this class)." This task has been proven as an effective and reliable method for inducing a maximizing mindset, which has a cross-domain influence on subsequent tasks (Ma & Roese, 2014). Upon completing the writing task, participants were instructed to perform an ostensibly unrelated choice-making task. ...
Article
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Touch is a powerful means to explore one's environment and a critical sensory modality for information gathering. Previous research has shown the positive effects of product touch on key outcomes such as perceived product ownership and choice confidence, yet only in the context of consumers examining a solitary product or a small choice set. The current research draws on the choice overload hypothesis to examine whether a large choice set size attenuates the positive effects of touch. Our findings suggest that product touch results in more positive outcomes when choice sets are small (vs. large), with perceived choice difficulty mediating this effect (Experiment 1). The interactive effect of choice set size and touch is diminished in situations where touch conveys limited additional product information (Experiment 2). Further, we find that touching a large choice set can be advantageous among certain consumers, as those with a maximizing mindset respond more favorably to a large choice set when they can touch the items versus not (Experiment 3). We discuss research implications for the literatures on product touch, choice overload, and consumer mindsets, and practical implications for marketers as pertaining to assortment management, message framing, and online retail shopping environments.
... While some consumers are satisfied with good enough alternatives (satisficers), others seek the best alternative (maximizers; Schwartz et al., 2002). Ma and Roese (2014) conceptualized the maximizing mindset as having two key features; tendency to compare and ambition to obtain the best. They also emphasized that maximizers spend more time on evaluating alternatives. ...
... For example, maximizers apply for more jobs and attend more interviews compared to satisficers (Iyengar et al., 2006). Although maximizers spend more time and effort on finding the best alternative (implying that they would consider the opportunity cost more), the literature finds that they are less happy with their choices and more regretful when compared to satisficers (e.g., Chang et al., 2011;Ma & Roese, 2014;Nenkov et al., 2008;Polman, 2010;Purvis et al., 2011;Rim et al., 2011;Roets et al., 2012;Schwartz et al., 2002). Schwartz (2000) explains that when the number of available alternatives in a choice set increases, three different problems arise. ...
... This leads to doubt about whether they selected the best one or whether they could have made a better decision, resulting in regret and low satisfaction (Schwartz et al., 2002). Ma and Roese (2014) explain that although maximizers try hard to obtain the best alternative, there is no guarantee that they achieve this and maximizers regret and are not satisfied with their chosen alternative. Polman (2010) argues that because maximizers make great efforts (e.g., job interviews), not only they need to consider more alternatives, but also, they will face more rejections and failures. ...
Article
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Human beings have countless desires but bounded resources, and this limitation makes them choose between alternatives. Consumers are encouraged to be aware of the best alternative use of a resource (e.g., money, and time), which is known as the opportunity cost of their choice. The current systematic review addresses existing debates and ambiguities surrounding opportunity cost consideration by consumers. We review the origins, different definitions, antecedents, associated decisions, and outcomes of opportunity costs consideration through a detailed examination of the relevant literature from multiple disciplines such as marketing, psychology, and economics. The SPAR‐4‐SLR protocol is used to conduct the review and the ADO (Antecedents, Decisions, Outcomes) framework is used to organize our findings. We highlight and reconcile two different perspectives on the conceptualization of opportunity cost as the forgone value (by considering willingness to pay) versus the physical market value of the second‐best alternative. Different antecedents of opportunity cost consideration are categorized into three categories: Individual differences, Situational variables, and Information processing method. We discuss when and why consumers tend to neglect the opportunity cost, in which situations they are more likely to overestimate the opportunity cost, and what is the difference between consideration of opportunity cost of time and money. Results show that despite what the economics literature suggests, opportunity cost consideration does not always lead to positive outcomes. Based on the literature of regret theory, and differences between maximizers and satisficers, we discuss how opportunity cost considerations might lead to choice discomfort, regret, and dissatisfaction. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
... For example, maximizers are more likely to drive 25 min to a grand superstore with 25 different alternatives for cleaning supplies, rather than visit the nearest grocery store that might have just four alternatives (Dar-Nimrod et al., 2009). Although previous research has predominantly focused on exploring how maximizers behave in a decision scenario (Schwartz et al., 2002;Ma and Roese, 2014), a fundamental question remains about why they prefer a larger assortment regardless of whether the decisions are important or not. ...
... Building beyond the scope of existing research, we examine how perceived importance drives maximizers' preference for large assortments. Second, while most previous research focuses on the preference (Weaver et al., 2015;Luan and Li, 2017), behaviors (Iyengar et al., 2006;Shiner, 2015;Goldsmith et al., 2018;Olson and Ahluwalia, 2021) and post-decision subjective feelings (Ma and Roese, 2014; Hassan et al., 2019) of maximizers and satisficers, we find that the difference between maximizers and satisficers occurs at an early stage and can sufficiently influence the subsequent stages. Apart from the theoretical contributions, this research also has significant practical implications for the development of marketing strategies. ...
... Second, maximizers are measured rather than manipulated in this study. Future research can manipulate maximizing tendency (e.g., priming the maximizing mindset; Ma and Roese, 2014) to build a causal relationship between maximizing and perceived importance. ...
Article
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Maximizing is a topic that has received significant attention from researchers and corporate organizations alike. Although extensive previous research has explored how maximizers behave in a decision scenario, a fundamental question remains about why they prefer a larger assortment regardless of whether the decisions are important or not. This study attempts to explore the underlying mechanism of this phenomenon. Four surveys were conducted, and participants from Mturk or Credamo online platforms were recruited (N = 922). The maximizing tendency was measured by either maximization scale or maximizing tendency scale, and perceived importance and preference for a large assortment were measured in different decision scenarios. Across four studies, we find that maximizers perceive the same decision as more important than satisficers (Study 1), and perceived importance serves as the mechanism underlying the maximizers’ preference for a large assortment (Study 2). In other words, in maximizers’ perceptions and interpretations, even seemingly trivial decisions are important enough to spend great effort on a large assortment. We additionally identified a boundary condition for the effect – cost salience (Studies 3a and 3b). These findings illustrate a pioneering empirical exploration of the difference in the way maximizers and satisficers perceive their decision importance and the reason for maximizers’ preference for a large assortment.
... Obtaining external feedback about one's choices may further exacerbate the detrimental impact of maximization on wellbeing (Kim & Miller, 2017;Ma & Roese, 2014). Feedback enables individuals to compare and assess their outcomes against salient external goals (Kernan, Heimann & Hanges, 1991;Paulson Gjerde, Padgett, & Skinner, 2017). ...
... Importantly, empirical research has yet to establish the contingency role of these conditions in maximizers' wellbeing (Foster & Diab, 2017;Luan & Li, 2017;Ma & Roese, 2014). ...
... To be eligible for inclusion, papers had to measure the maximization trait or manipulate the maximization mindset, then measure one or more wellbeing indicators (Online Appendix A details the excluded papers). First, we considered papers that operationalized maximization through a wide range of scales commonly used in the literature (e.g., Schwartz et al.'s [2002] Maximization Scale, Nenkov et al.'s [2008] Short Form of the Maximization Scale, Diab et al.'s [2008] Maximizing Tendency Scale, etc.) or as a mindset manipulation (Ma & Roese, 2014). Second, the eligible papers also had to measure indicators belonging to the conceptualizations of wellbeing identified in the literature, i.e., eudaimonic (Ryff, 1989), hedonic (Diener, 1984), and clinical wellbeing (Dittmar et al., 2014;Zautra & Hempel, 1984) (refer to Online Appendix B for examples of scales reflecting these conceptualizations). ...
Article
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Decision-making literature establishes that maximizers, who always strive for the best option, paradoxically experience lower wellbeing. The current study aims to discover the conditions that attenuate or exacerbate the detrimental effect of maximization on wellbeing by using a large-scale meta-analysis based on 683 effect sizes from 108 papers, spanning 47,245 unique respondents. We develop a conceptual framework for the literature and classify potential moderators of the maximization-wellbeing relationship along two dimensions: i) whether they enable the decision-maker to focus on the choice process or the choice outcome, and ii) the extent to which they contribute to choice complexity, expecting that process (vs outcome) focus and less complex choices can assuage maximizers’ wellbeing deficit. Our meta-analysis supports our expectations for all the choice focus moderators, but not for all the choice complexity moderators. Alongside theoretical and practical implications, we offer a framework to guide future research that should uncover when choice complexity moderators most accurately explain the wellbeing of maximizers.
... Most research on these decision-making styles uses continuous, trait-based scales to measure the extent to which people maximize versus satisfice (see Cheek and Schwartz (2016) for a review), meaning that they are not orthogonal, but rather exist on a continuum. A growing body of research has begun to explore the impact of maximizingi.e., seeking out the "best" optionand satisficingi.e., settling for an option that is "good enough" -on purchasing decisions and outcomes (Besharat et al., 2014;Cheek & Ward, 2019;Chowdhury et al., 2009;Kokkoris, 2018;Ma & Roese, 2014;Weaver et al., 2015). For example, studies have found that maximizers take longer to browse product assortments (Chowdhury et al., 2009), are more likely to choose items that are the best compromise within a consideration set (Mao, 2016) and are more likely to exchange products after purchasing them (Ma & Roese, 2014). ...
... A growing body of research has begun to explore the impact of maximizingi.e., seeking out the "best" optionand satisficingi.e., settling for an option that is "good enough" -on purchasing decisions and outcomes (Besharat et al., 2014;Cheek & Ward, 2019;Chowdhury et al., 2009;Kokkoris, 2018;Ma & Roese, 2014;Weaver et al., 2015). For example, studies have found that maximizers take longer to browse product assortments (Chowdhury et al., 2009), are more likely to choose items that are the best compromise within a consideration set (Mao, 2016) and are more likely to exchange products after purchasing them (Ma & Roese, 2014). Although such work has begun to shed light on how maximizing versus satisficing affects purchase behaviors, little is known about how these decision-making styles influence saving behaviors. ...
... First, they add to knowledge regarding how maximizing tendencies affect consumers' intention to save versus spend. Specifically, prior research has primarily focused on understanding how decision-making styles affect immediate behaviors before, during, and after purchase (e.g., Besharat et al., 2014;Ma & Roese, 2014;Mao, 2016). By contrast, the present work is the first to investigate what factors might lead maximizers to forgo a current purchase altogether, and instead allocate the money towards savings. ...
Article
Prior work has established that maximizing tendencies influence purchase choice behaviors (e.g., maximizers take longer to browse product assortments and are more likely to choose 'compromise' products). By contrast, the present research investigates differences in saving intentions associated with maximizing tendencies. Three studies demonstrate that maximizing increases saving intentions in a variety of scenarios constituting both short-and long-term time horizons. Underlying this effect, maximizing is associated with a greater desire to accumulate money to afford the future purchase of status-enhancing products and services. Supporting this theoretical process, the effect of maximization is attenuated in a scenario where the purpose of saving is for future security, as well as in a scenario where the purpose of saving is for a budget retirement lifestyle. These findings are the first to implicate social comparison motives in driving consumer saving decisions. They also have implications for policymakers and practitioners looking for ways to motivate individuals to save more.
... Consistent findings suggest that this "good enough" rather than the "best" as a criterion is related to differences in regret intensity (Besharat et al., 2014;Chowdhury et al., 2009;Hassan et al., 2019;Huang & Zeelenberg, 2012;Ma & Roese, 2014;Parker et al., 2007;Polman, 2010). A better-unchosen option seems not to elicit satisficers' regret as intense as maximizers' regret (Schwartz et al., 2002). ...
... Hence, compared to satisficers, maximizers' decisions might reflect a more cautious, reflective, or justifiable process, which theoretically should lead to less regrettable decisions. However, empirical research has shown that, contrary to this assumption, maximizers experience more regret than satisficers (Besharat et al., 2014;Chowdhury et al., 2009;Hassan et al., 2019;Ma & Roese, 2014;Parker et al., 2007;Polman, 2010;Schwartz et al., 2002;. Besides, more negative feelings were observed in maximizers even when they obtained objectively better results (Iyengar et al., 2006). ...
... Furthermore, maximizers have an enhanced tendency to engage in upward comparisons (Ma & Roese, 2014) which in turn would make it easier to find any best-unchosen alternative afterward. The greater transparency afforded by digital media makes people quite exposed to standards of excellence or benchmarks for success, bringing up the question that not everyone can be or get the best, which may arise psychological negative consequences on the individual. ...
Article
Regret is an important emotion in the context of decision making and has many implications for the behavior of consumers. Although regret may be an inevitable outcome, it is possible to cope with it through various regulation strategies. This research investigates one of those strategies, namely, decrease the goal level strategy (DGL), in which one regulates regret by reevaluating the negativity of an outcome. Two properly powered and preregistered experimental studies find that the DGL strategy effectively works in regulating individuals' post-decisional regret. Besides, the DGL effect is moderated by individuals' maximizing tendency. When maximizers engaged in the DGL strategy, by reappraising their decision and recognizing positive alternative goals, they regulated their regrets more successfully. For satisficers, in contrast, who are by default more prone to adopt the protective “good enough” choice, engaging in a DGL strategy did not affect their regrets. These results contribute to the literature on regret by empirically testing DGL as an effective regret regulation strategy, showing mechanisms that can help individuals to effectively cope with regret.
... It is traditionally characterized as an objective pursuit, whereby maximizers seek the best according to absolute standards (Schwartz 2002). The goal can be chronically present, or temporally activated by specific contexts and decision settings (Ma and Roese 2014). Once activated, maximizing is a highly self-relevant goal, which promotes a persistent fixation on the best (Olson and Ahluwalia 2017;Schwartz et al. 2002). ...
... Once activated, maximizing is a highly self-relevant goal, which promotes a persistent fixation on the best (Olson and Ahluwalia 2017;Schwartz et al. 2002). Consequently, maximizers are known to invest substantial effort into searching for the best outcome, spending more time considering more information about more alternatives than non-maximizers (Dar-Nimrod et al. 2009;Iyengar et al. 2006;Ma and Roese 2014). ...
... While most consumers deal with such decisions by accepting inadequacies, or emphasizing positive aspects of poor outcomes to perceive them more favorably (Yi and Baumgartner 2004), maximizers tend to focus on their inability to achieve the best outcome, remaining fixed on their suboptimal performance (Sparks, Ehrlinger, and Eibach 2012). They ruminate on this failure, dwelling on how they might have attained the best result, fostering strong negative feelings of regret (Dar-Nimrod et al. 2009;Iyengar et al. 2006;Levav, Reinholtz, and Lin 2012;Ma and Roese 2014;Schwartz et al. 2002). Although maximizers' post-decision regret has commonly been observed in past work, and is thought to underlie their generally lower levels of subjective wellbeing (Iyengar et al. 2006;Schwartz et al. 2002), our research is the first to systematically examine how maximizers might deal with these negative post-choice feelings. ...
Article
Past research generally finds that if consumers share word of mouth about past purchases with others, the valence of the information tends to be congruent with actual perceptions. Thus, a negative purchase experience should elicit negative (vs. positive) word of mouth. We examine how a goal of attaining the best possible outcome, or maximizing, may alter this tendency. Drawing on prior work demonstrating that consumers may view their own personal failures more favorably through relative comparisons with others faring similarly or worse, we show that maximizing increases consumers’ propensity to share favorable word of mouth about unsatisfactory purchases, in an effort to encourage others to make the same poor choices, as they seek to enhance the perceived relative standing of and post-purchase feelings toward their own unsatisfying outcomes. We further show that consumers particularly exhibit this behavior when sharing with psychologically close (vs. distant) others, as comparisons with close others are especially relevant to relative standing. Finally, we consider the downstream consequences of such behavior, finding that when consumers successfully persuade close others to make the same bad decisions, they feel better about their own outcomes, but are also burdened with feelings of guilt that erode their overall wellbeing.
... Paradoxically, research suggests that though maximizers achieve objectively better decision outcomes than satisficers, they experience more negative psychological consequences, such as feeling more regret and less happiness and satisfaction with their choices (Iyengar et al., 2006;Ma & Roese, 2014;Schwartz et al., 2002). Furthermore, they are likely to change their initial choice if given the option (Chowdhury, Ratneshwar, & Mohanty, 2009) and switch to competing companies (Lai, 2011). ...
... Maximiziation research has mostly examined information search behavior (Iyengar et al., 2006) or postpurchase feelings about the selected options (Ma & Roese, 2014). What maximizers optimize given their alternatives and the choice setting and psychological forces underlying decision making remains underexamined. ...
... We used a choice task to manipulate participants' maximizing versus satisficing mind-set, adapted from Ma and Roese (2014). We asked participants to choose a series of five best (e.g., "Please choose the singer you think has the best vocal ability. ...
... Specifically, if by-attribute self-customization formats evoke a maximizing mindset, then this choice process will have a negative effect on choice likelihood (Ma & Roese, 2014). Maximizing refers to people's general tendency to insist on getting the "best" instead of settling for something that is "good enough" (i.e., satisfice; Iyengar, Wells, & Schwartz, 2006). ...
... Further, in pursuit of getting the best, maximizers tend to feel less satisfied with their chosen options compared with satisficers (Iyengar et al., 2006). Consequently, the authors propose that by-attribute self-customization activates two competing processes: simplicity increases decision ease compared with a matrix format, which by itself increases purchase likelihood (Valenzuela et al., 2009); at the same time, however, the simplicity evokes a maximizing mindset that decreases satisfaction with the available options (Iyengar et al., 2006;Levav, Reinholtz, & Lin, 2012;Ma & Roese, 2014). The total effect of by-attribute self-customization on choice likelihood is thus the sum of these two competing processes. ...
... Second, it explores two moderators that shape the effect of by-attribute self-customization: The presence of cues signaling that an objectively best option exists and individual differences in maximizing tendencies. Third, the results extend recent findings suggesting that, in addition to being a dispositional tendency, maximizing can also be triggered by the decision context (Ma & Roese, 2014). Fourth, this study extends an existing body of work which suggests that, contrary to the dominant view in both theory and practice, easier decisions do not necessarily result in increased choice satisfaction (Diehl, 2005;Levav et al., 2012;Mogilner, Shiv, & Iyengar, 2012;Scheibehenne, Greifeneder, & Todd, 2009;Schrift, Netzer, & Kivetz, 2011). ...
Article
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Self‐customization in online shopping contexts readily offers an abundance of options for consumers. However, the sheer amount of information can quickly become overwhelming. One way to give people the freedom to choose without overwhelming them with information is to simplify the decision process by breaking it down into a series of smaller steps. Contrary to a common assumption that simpler decisions increase choice likelihood, however, this study demonstrates that a simple by‐attribute self‐customization process may activate a maximizing mindset, which increases people's desire to find better options and decreases their satisfaction with the ones available. Consequently, simplifying the self‐customization process can sometimes backfire by decreasing choice likelihood. Three studies suggest that although by‐attribute self‐customization formats are easier to choose from, compared with more complex matrix formats, they may sometimes—paradoxically—increase choice deferral. The findings suggest that a maximizing mindset mediates this effect, casting doubt on information‐based alternative explanations. The findings also suggest that whether by‐attribute self‐customization increases or decreases choice likelihood may depend on the presence of objective quality cues, which indicate that an objectively‐best option can be found. This study furthers the understanding of how decision difficulty and maximizing influence self‐customization decisions.
... When making decisions for others, satisficers are more likely to use maximizing strategies (Luan et al., 2018). Furthermore, Ma and Roese (2014) situationally activated maximizing or satisficing mindsets, under which people exhibited the characteristics of maximizers or satisficers. ...
... In addition, we conducted a bifactor model using data from Study 1 (for details, see Supplementary Material S5), and the index ECV and H suggested that the general maximizing tendency also played a non-negligible role. Ma and Roese (2014) primed participants' maximizing mindset in a non-consumption domain that led to maximizing performance in the consumption domain, suggesting that maximization has a certain degree of commonality across domains. All evidence shows that the commonality and specificity of maximization coexist among the domains. ...
Article
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The maximizing decision-making style describes the style of one who pursues maximum utility in decision-making, in contrast to the satisficing style, which describes the style of one who is satisfied with good enough options. The current research concentrates on the within-person variation in the maximizing decision-making style and provides an explanation through three studies. Study 1 (N = 530) developed a domain-specific maximizing scale and found that individuals had different maximizing tendencies across different domains. Studies 2 (N = 162) and 3 (N = 106) further explored this mechanism from the perspective of subjective task value through questionnaires and experiments. It was found that the within-person variation of maximization in different domains is driven by the difference in the individuals’ subjective task value in the corresponding domains. People tend to maximize more in the domains they value more. Our research contributes to a comprehensive understanding of maximization and provides a new perspective for the study of the maximizing decision-making style.
... Esse novo preditor está em consonância com um fenômeno importante, caracterizado pelo aumento do conhecimento dos consumidores, aumento gerado pelo acesso facilitado à informação (Dholakia et al., 2013). Em segundo lugar, até onde sabemos, apresentamos um novo efeito de interação entre o conhecimento prévio e a tendência à maximização na busca de informações após a decisão, expandindo a literatura sobre tendência à maximização visto que poucos estudos têm investigado os efeitos deste traço no comportamento do consumidor na fase após a decisão (Ma & Roese, 2014). Em terceiro lugar, esta pesquisa explora o papel da dissonância cognitiva, que até então não havia sido testada empiricamente, embora Donelly e Ivancevich (1970) e Oliver (2014) (Brega, 2018) e, portanto, pode perder, por exemplo, a oportunidade de diminuir comportamentos como a devolução de produtos e reforçar a escolha do consumidor (Donelly & Ivancevich, 1970;Oliver, 2014). ...
... Os satisficers geralmente escolhem de acordo com expectativas previamente bem estabelecidas(Schwartz et al., 2002). Assim, quando encontram uma opção que está em conformidade com seus parâmetros, eles se contentam com isso e dificilmente se envolvem em comportamentos após a compra(Ma & Roese, 2014), como busca de informações. Na medida em que os satisficers tenham conhecimento sobre as suas compras e possam experimentar o produto adquirido por eles, como no Estudo 2B, é improvável que procurem mais informações sobre as suas compras. ...
Article
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Nowadays consumers have more previous knowledge about products and services before making decisions. This study sheds light on the effects of consumers’ previous knowledge on post-decision information search. Previous studies argue that cognitive dissonance and feelings of regret or dissatisfaction elicit this search. However, we show through one experimental and two correlational studies that this view is incomplete. Our findings indicate that knowledgeable consumers search for more information at the post-decision stage, even when the decision cannot be modified. This main effect is stronger (weaker) for maximizers (satisficers). Also, cognitive dissonance affects the post-decision information search behavior. Therefore, we suggest a new variable, consumers’ previous knowledge, for consideration in the post-decision information search model.
... Maximizers strive to achieve the best possible decision outcome through engaging in extensive comparisons among alternatives, while satisficers settle for "good enough" options without experiencing particular emotional discomfort for foregoing the optimal alternative in a choice set (Schwartz et al. 2002). Individuals exhibiting chronic maximization tendencies tend to spend more time making decisions, invest more effort in comparing alternatives, are less likely to choose "good enough" options, feel more regret and less satisfaction for their choices (despite being better at spotting the optimal ones) and change their choices post-purchase more frequently (Chowdhury, Ratneshwar, and Mohanty 2009;Ma and Roese 2014;Schwartz et al. 2002). ...
... Similarly, we opted for measuring consumers' maximization tendency instead of experimentally manipulating it, because we approach this tendency as a consumer trait instead of state variable. However, given that prior research has shown that maximizing mindsets can be situationally primed(Ma and Roese 2014), we urge future researchers to look into the effects of these variables on related outcomes (e.g. sensitivity to country of origin effects) by also experimentally manipulating them.Regarding measurement, our measures of consumers' reliance on the global brand halo are able to capture only conscious users of the "global equals better" heuristic that were willing to reveal they used it either in the open-ended question (Study 1) or in the respective psychometric scale (Study 2). ...
Article
Research has long established the existence of a global brand halo that benefits global brands by triggering “global equals better” inferences by consumers. Nevertheless, little is known about the conditions under which this halo may or may not be used or about whether and, if so, how it can situationally fade. Drawing from regret theory, the authors posit that anticipating regret can conditionally both attenuate and accentuate consumers’ use of the global brand halo and develop a serial conditional process model to explain the mechanism underlying regret’s influence. The results of two experimental studies show that anticipated regret affects global brand halo use—and subsequently relative preference for global or local brands—by increasing consumers’ need to justify their purchase decision. Whether and how consumers will use the global brand halo depends on consumers’ product category schema, while the intensity of the halo’s use depends on consumers’ maximization tendency. The findings offer a decision-theory perspective on the competition between global and local brands and empirically based advice on managerial interventions that can influence global or local brand market shares.
... Researchers also proposed certain specific mindsets, for example, deliberative and implemental mindsets (Gollwitzer & Bayer, 1999;Gollwitzer, Heckhausen, & Steller, 1990;Gollwitzer & Sheeran, 2006), a counterfactual mindset (Galinsky & Kray, 2004;Galinsky & Moskowitz, 2000), a comparative mindset (Xu & Wyer, 2007, a scarcity mindset (Shah, Mullainathan & Shafir, 2012) and maximizing and satisfying mindsets (Ma & Roese, 2014;Luan & Li, 2017a, 2017bLuan, Fu, & Li, 2018). ...
... Participants who memorized 30 crisis words reported feeling a greater sense of crisis (M = 4.98, SD = 1.78) after they finished the experiment than those who memorized 30 common words (M = 2.72, SD = 1.49), t (85) = 6.337, p < 0.001, Cohen's d > 1. Participants self-reporting that they perceive and feel a crisis directly hit the concept of crisis mindset. In other words, crisis mindset was successfully activated (Ma & Roese, 2014;Luan & Li, 2017a, b;Luan et al., 2018). ...
Article
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The current research provides novel evidence on how intuitive decision process is activated under a crisis condition and demonstrates a substantial and robust relationship among crisis mindset, inattentional blindness, and intuitive decision. We activate and measure a crisis mindset instead of directly measuring a crisis situation because a crisis can affect people only if they perceive and interpret it as a crisis. In Experiment 1, we find that a crisis mindset leads to a higher level of inattentional blindness. In Experiment 2, we provide direct evidence that inattentional blindness creates a bridge between a crisis mindset and intuitive decision. In conclusion, we fill the research gap on how crisis links to intuitive decision by demonstrating the key role of inattentional blindness in activating intuitive decision under a crisis condition.
... However, regret and dissatisfaction are no longer seen as part of the construct. According to Ma and Roese (2014), maximizers are only susceptive to negative consequences if it becomes clear that they did not choose the best available option. ...
Conference Paper
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Communication in companies is essential to achieve the set goals of the company. If all team members are not equally committed to achieving organizational goals, they will not be achieved or will not be achieved to the extent planned. With the joint action and effort of all employees and managers, the synergy effect in companies will be more significant, and the involvement of all workers. Without communication, it would be impossible to achieve the set goals in companies, the desired planned profit and customer satisfaction, or customers. Managers are responsible for the communication process in companies, and all stakeholders in the communication process, all employees, are co- responsible. When there are “noises” in communication, then communication in the company is one-way, which reflects very quickly on the business process and ultimately on the company’s profits and customer or customer satisfaction. Communication between co-workers or co-workers and managers is not twoway but one-way, inefficient, even stressful, and harmful. The scientific contribution of this paper is to determine the reasons for unclear, one-way, or even harmful communication in the company between employees and their superiors, from the point of view of employees and find out and define possible ways to improve the communication process of employees with their managers. There is no statistically significant difference between the sexes of the respondents with the respondents’ attitudes about the importance of communication in their workplaces. A high percentage of respondents stated that communication in their workplaces is essential. The success of managers’ communication with employees is not related to a higher executive education level. As the leading reason for unsuccessful communication of managers with employees, respondents state the lack of time of managers. They also state that the first way to improve the communication process is for managers to find time to communicate more often with employees, individually, and more often by organizing meetings with employees and asking employees how they feel.
... Participants (n = 129) were randomly assigned into one of the two priming conditions (maximisers = 69 vs satisficers = 60). The study used a priming task consisting of five questions adapted from Ma and Roese (2014); Mao (2016). These questions are designed to prompt participants to think of either the best (maximisers group) or the good enough (satisficers group) option for a given decision. ...
... Participants (n = 129) were randomly assigned into one of the two priming conditions (maximisers = 69 vs satisficers = 60). The study used a priming task consisting of five questions adapted from Ma and Roese (2014); Mao (2016). These questions are designed to prompt participants to think of either the best (maximisers group) or the good enough (satisficers group) option for a given decision. ...
... If maximizers get the best outcome, how will they feel? Ma and Roese (2014) showed that maximizers did not experience more regret than satisficers when they obtained the best outcome. Conversely, if maximizers get the worst outcome in a risky decision, how will they feel? ...
Article
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Maximizing is characterized by aspirations for the highest standards. The current study explored the relationship between maximizing and risk-taking tendencies in decisions subject to risk. We propose that people first refer to expectation (i.e., the overall utility expected from an alternative) when taking risky decisions. If expectation clearly identifies the best option, maximizing will not be correlated with risk-taking tendencies. If not, people refer to maximizing to reach a decision. Maximizing will be positively associated with risk-taking tendencies because the “upper bound” of risky options helps achieve the goal of seeking the best. Four studies showed that risk-taking tendencies increased with maximizing when the options had similar expectations (Studies 1 to 3). When expectations between options were clearly different (vs. similar), the positive relationship between maximizing and risk-taking tendencies was reduced (Study 4). These findings provide an insight into how maximizing is related to risk seeking.
... In the present research, we address one aspect of disagreement -namely, whether or not decision difficulty should be considered part of maximizing. Schwartz (2016) reviewed and analyzed 11 existing scales, as well as the conceptualization of maximizing used in Ma and Roese's (2014) maximizing mind-set priming procedure. Their review illuminated four constructs that are specifically defined by at least one measure to be part of maximizing.1 Table 1 summarizes the different definitions of maximizing and outlines which definitions include each of four relevant maximizing constructs, including the two maximizing scales of which we are aware that were published after Cheek and Schwartz's review (Newman, Schug, Yuki, Yamada & Nezlek, 2018;Voss, Lake & Chelvin-Thiele, 2019). ...
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For two decades, researchers have investigated the correlates and consequences of individual differences in maximizing , the tendency to pursue the goal of making the best possible choice by extensively seeking out and comparing alternatives. In this time, many different conceptualizations of maximizing have been proposed, including several that incorporate a construct called “decision difficulty.” We propose that including decision difficulty in measures of maximizing is problematic because the tendency to experience difficulty when making decisions is a separate individual difference construct already studied independently of maximizing — namely, indecisiveness . Across two studies (total N = 639), we find that scales measuring decision difficulty and indecisiveness are strongly correlated ( r ’s ≥ .85), load on the same component in a principal component analysis, and show a very similar pattern of correlations with related variables. Moreover, decision difficulty and indecisiveness scales both show a divergent pattern of correlations when compared to measures of maximizing. We argue that decision difficulty scales are best interpreted as tapping the same underlying tendency as indecisiveness scales, and conclude that the tendency to experience difficulty in decision making is best conceptualized not as a component of maximizing, but rather a cause or consequence of it.
... Third, consumers with a maximizing mindset might be more motivated to reduce risk and continue searching. "Satisficers" may be more motivated to minimize search costs and therefore may be more likely to settle for one of the earlier presented products ( Goldsmith, Roux and Ma, 2018 ;Ma and Roese 2014 ). ...
Article
Nearly half of US households own a smart speaker with voice shopping functionality. Voice shopping product presentation is inherently sequential due to the audio delivery of information, which may give retailers the opportunity to influence customer decisions through the order in which brands are presented. This research examines the effect of brand order presentation in voice shopping and its impact on high-equity versus low-equity brands. Moreover, this research considers the moderating effect of product presentation format (simultaneous vs. sequential, audio vs. visual) on the impact of brand presentation order. The results of six experiments with more than 1,000 participants provide evidence that consumers attempt to balance competing concerns about risk in voice shopping with search costs because products are presented sequentially and information is reduced. If high-equity brands are presented first, the choice distribution in voice shopping is unimodal, with a peak at the first-presented products. However, a bimodal choice distribution results if low-equity brands are presented first. Importantly, choice distribution in voice shopping differs markedly from choice distribution when products are presented simultaneously and visually, as in online shopping.
... 3. Study 1 -green (vs premium) brand choices and pride 3.1 Participants, design and procedure A total of 89 undergraduate students (55% female, M age 5 22) participated in this study in exchange for course credit. The design was a single factor 2 (choice: green vs premium) between participants design, with choice as an endogenously created factor (based on Ma and Roese, 2014). The study was conducted in a lab, and participant respondents were exposed to the scenarios via a computer. ...
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Purpose Earlier research indicates that brand choices may display different identity signals, such as altruism and benevolence for green brands or high status and exclusiveness for premium brands. This research adds to the literature by exploring how opting for green (vs premium) brands leads consumers to feel authentic (vs hubristic) pride. Design/methodology/approach Three experimental studies were conducted to test the hypotheses related to green versus premium choices (Studies 1–3), public accountability (Study 2) and the underlying process of anticipated judgment (Study 3). Findings The findings reveal that choosing a green (vs premium) brand results in higher authentic pride and lower hubristic pride. However, the green pride effects were only observed when consumers' brand choices were publicly accountable. Finally, anticipated judgment mediates changes in authentic pride driven by green (vs premium) brands. Originality/value The study findings contribute preponderantly to the green consumer behavior literature and practice by providing primary evidence that green (vs premium) branding can trigger distinct patterns of pride in comparative decisions.
... Irrational expectations, indecision, perfectionism, unhappiness with the choice outcome, and sensitivity to regret are common characteristics of maximizers (Diab, Gillespie, & Highhouse, 2008;Iyengar, Wells, & Schwartz, 2006;Lai, 2010;Polman, 2010;Schwartz et al., 2002). Projecting customers' styles in e-commerce enables practitioners to adapt the web in realtime and manage customer relationships during and after the purchase, reducing anticipatory and post-purchase regret (Ma & Roese, 2014;Shehu, Papies, & Neslin, 2020) and increasing decision fulfillment and well-being. ...
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Decision-making styles have been studied in non-situational settings using the classical survey instrument. This study proposes a novel methodology for identifying decision-making styles in a real-world purchasing situation using only behavioral data and machine learning. We base our analysis on a two-week sample of 1,347,854 clickstream sessions from an e-commerce company and extract a series of parameters to infer the search goal, strategy, and decision difficulty. We implement a range of unsupervised algorithms, and we identify and validate three internally stable classes of decision-makers. One category corresponds to the classical style of satisficers; the other two subcategorize the maximisers' classical style. The customer’s entry channel preferences and movement patterns provide compelling support for the style's predictive validity. This study contributes to research and practice by proposing a new methodology to recognize the customer decision style in the e-commerce setting.
... Specifically, maximizers are more regretful and less happy with their consumer purchases, are generally more sensitive to regret, and experience significantly higher levels of regret compared with satisficers (Parker, De Bruin, & Fischhoff, 2007;Schwartz et al., 2002). Maximizing impacted post-decision affective responses above and beyond the actual decision process (e.g., depth of search; Ma & Roese, 2014). Thus, maximizers' heightened experience with post-decision regret may indicate that maximizers have a unique relationship with anticipated regret and may fail to act in a regret-averse manner. ...
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The current study integrated emotion, specifically anticipated regret, into the decision process for employee voice. As a cognitively mediated emotion, anticipated regret is unique from previously studied voice factors (i.e., motivators and inhibitors) that influence risk judgments and voice decisions. Two studies utilizing an experimental moderated mediation design was used to examine the indirect influence of risk on voice intent through both anticipated voice and silence regret. In both studies, high-risk voice situations led to higher anticipated voice regret, lower anticipated silence regret, and decreased intent to voice compared with low-risk situations. Anticipated regret for engaging in voice was found to mediate the relationship between risk and voice intent in both studies, and also exhibited a significantly stronger indirect effect. This indicates that employees differentially weigh the two types of anticipated regret, especially for situations with greater risk. These findings were consistent across two voice scenarios and two samples, illustrating its robustness to different workplace contexts. Importantly, our study indicates that judgments of risk influence an employee’s anticipated emotions, leading to regret-averse behavior. In contrast to previous research, this study demonstrated that emotion-based factors do not always lead to rash or irrational decision-making. Instead, anticipated regret was integrated into the traditional, utility-based voice calculation and allowed individuals to augment their voice decisions by anticipating and acting upon their desired emotional outcomes. By jointly considering traditional voice factors and anticipated emotions, we provide a novel pathway for organizations to understand employee voice and silence.
... Sellers thus state how much money they are willing to accept (WTA) in exchange for a good, whereas buyers state how much money they are willing to pay (WTP) in exchange for the good. Since the good is typically identical and constant, and the amount of money to accept/pay is the mutable aspect, the motivation to achieve positive outcomes or success in the task (Ma & Roese, 2014) is accomplished by striving to maximize what one receives and minimize what one gives up. The WTA elicitation thus activates a maximizing motivation, whereas the WTP elicitation activates a minimizing motivation. ...
... Sellers thus state how much money they are willing to accept (WTA) in exchange for a good, whereas buyers state how much money they are willing to pay (WTP) in exchange for the good. Since the good is typically identical and constant, and the amount of money to accept/pay is the mutable aspect, the motivation to achieve positive outcomes or success in the task (Ma & Roese, 2014) is accomplished by striving to maximize what one receives and minimize what one gives up. The WTA elicitation thus activates a maximizing motivation, whereas the WTP elicitation activates a minimizing motivation. ...
Article
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We take a motivated reasoning perspective to examine the robust finding that a seller's willingness to accept (WTA) to give up a good is typically higher than a buyer's willingness to pay (WTP) to obtain the good. We propose that the seller/buyer role and/or the WTA/WTP elicitation activate different motivations. Four studies, using different ways to test for motivational processes, demonstrate how motivational processes influence the WTA‐WTP disparity in a predictable and systematic way. Study 1 shows that the WTA/WTP elicitation activates distinct motivations and that altering the medium of exchange reverses the motivations. Study 2 shows that eliciting WTA/WTP using an auction mechanism activates multiple motivations, attenuating the WTA‐WTP disparity. Study 3 demonstrates that activating regulatory focus that is inconsistent (vs. consistent) with the motivation activated by the WTA/WTP elicitation attenuates the WTA‐WTP disparity. Study 4 demonstrates that WTA/WTP elicitation may bias perceptions of an ambiguous stimulus and that the WTA‐WTP disparity increases with delay. Together, our findings provide new insights into the valuation of sellers and buyers by highlighting the role of motivational processes underlying the WTA‐WTP disparity.
... According to the traditional goal setting theory, consumers with goals will pursue the maximization of utility when participating in activities. Psychological implications brought by goal requirements will stimulate consumers to enhance their efforts and participate in promotional activities or participate in defensive activities to the maximum extent without exceeding the goal limitations [26,51,52]. The psychological implication brought by goal requirements motivates consumers to participate in promotional activities, and the pursuit of maximum utility stimulates consumers with goal limitations to participate in defensive activities to the maximum extent. ...
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Looking at the contradiction between the prevalence of self-quantification and unclear applicable boundaries, the objective of this study is to examine the internal mechanism of how self-quantification influences consumers’ participation and behavioral decision-making in green consumption activities. Based on the goal setting theory, a series of research hypotheses were proposed. Four experiments were designed and performed in different situations with different subjects. Through the analysis of variance and bootstrap testing, the experimental data were analyzed and processed. The results show that, under specific goals, consumers with low self-quantification participate more in promotional activities and less in defensive activities. In promotional green consumption activities, self-quantification enables consumers with (without) goal requirements to reduce (enhance) their participation performance, and choose high-intensity promotional activity categories less (more) with better (worse) participation experience. In defensive green consumption activities, self-quantification enables consumers with (without) goal limitations to enhance (reduce) participation performance and choose high-intensity defensive categories more (less) with better (worse) participation experience. The conclusions can provide enlightenment for enterprises to guide consumers to participate in green consumption activities.
... Personality traits play a significant role in how mood affects consumers' choices. We show that maximizers and satisficers not only have different motives when making decisions (Ma & Roese, 2014), but that they are also affected differently by their positive/negative mood. It is important to note that the central focus of this study is on mood and its interaction effect with decision-making style and need for gratification, rather than extending current technology acceptance models. ...
Article
Research on consumer technology adoption has predominantly focused on technology acceptance models; the role of consumers' affective states and individual characteristics has largely remained underexplored. Drawing on the Mood-Behavior Model and the Affect Infusion Model, this research suggests that consumers' mood is an important factor that influences their decision to adopt in-store m-payment services. More importantly, the nature of this impact differs depending on two individual characteristics: consumers' decision-making style (maximizer/satisficer) and need for gratification. A scenario-based experiment (n = 322) provides empirical evidence for the significance of consumers' affective states in their judgements and decisions. When experiencing positive mood, those satisficers who have a higher need for gratification are more likely to use m-payment services. In contrast, in a negative mood state, maximizers with a higher need for gratification are more inclined to use m-payment. The findings contribute to the literature by demonstrating that mood is an important determinant of technology adoption and that consumers' individual characteristics define how positive and negative mood can influence their adoption decisions in different ways. The results also inform managers on an interesting consumer segmentation approach based on consumers’ decision-making style and need for gratification when promoting in-store m-payment services.
... Importantly, regret has a profound effect on decision making. For example, the amount of regret caused by unchosen alternatives significantly changes future preferences (e.g., Ma & Roese, 2014), whereas the anticipation of regret leads to less risky behavioral choices (Richard, van der Pligt, & De Vries, 1996). Even children as young as 7 years have been found to alter a behavior choice after realizing that an alternative action could have resulted in a better outcome (O'Connor et al., 2014). ...
Article
In the current study, we examined whether two different counterfactual thinking biases (i.e., action bias and temporal order bias) influence children's and adults' judgments of regret and blame and whether the perspective that participants take (i.e., self vs. other) affects blame attributions. Little evidence was found for either bias in young children's judgments, and at older ages the temporal order bias had a stronger influence on judgments compared with the action bias. In addition, the results provide new evidence suggesting that there are developmental changes in the effects of self versus other perspectives on children's social judgments. The findings are discussed in the context of developmental change in counterfactual thinking.
... The relatively small effect size may be a result of a relatively weak manipulation of imaginary choice strategies, and we recommend that future research move beyond hypothetical descriptions of strategies to explore the effects of different choice strategies in actual decision making contexts. For example, future research could prime a maximizing mindset using Ma and Roese's (2014) method, which may better manipulate maximizing goals and strategies. In addition, it is worth noting that stable individual differences in maximizing and experimental manipulations of maximizing may be differentially related to some choice outcomes, such that some relations with individual differences do not emerge as strongly when maximizing is manipulated. ...
Article
Why do maximizers—those who seek to make the very best choice by exhaustively searching out and comparing alternatives—place such high value on choice in the face of so much regret, dissatisfaction, and stress during the choice process? In five studies (total N = 1479), we drew on the two-component model of maximizing to better understand this maximization paradox. Distinguishing between the goal of choosing the best and the strategy of alternative search, we found that the two components of maximizing predicted opposing experiences with choice—the maximization goal was related to positive experiences with and beliefs about choice, whereas the maximization strategy was related to negative experiences with and beliefs about choice. Considering the two components of maximizing separately thus helps explain why maximizers have both more positive and more negative reactions to choice than do satisficers.
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The majority of donations are dedicated to helping human recipients. Building on prior literature that demonstrates the role of downward social comparisons between donors and donation recipients in elevating willingness to help those in need, we propose that a maximizing mindset increases such downward social comparisons, which in turn promote donations to human recipients. A set of seven studies, including online and field experiments and a secondary dataset, provides convergent support for the effect of the maximizing mindset (whether measured as an inherent individual difference or activated as a temporary mindset) on donations and the mediating role of downward social comparisons. This research enriches the understanding of donations to human recipients by showing that donations can be enhanced by a maximizing mindset. Our findings offer important insights to donation-raising agencies. Specifically, activating the maximizing mindset among prospective donors—by embedding certain words in donation appeals or encouraging donors to think about their best choices in everyday life—could benefit charities and social-cause platforms in their efforts to raise donations to support the needy.
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Economically, maximizing, the tendency to seek the best, is good because it entails possibilities to optimize decision outcomes. However, research has shown that maximizing is costly in that maximizers are more regretful and less satisfied with their decisions. Beyond these intrapersonal downsides, this research investigates another important but largely ignored downside—the interpersonal costs of being a maximizer—and documents a maximizing penalty in social cognition wherein maximizers (vs. satisficers) are viewed as less warm and consequently receive less social support. Four studies provide evidence for the maximizing penalty. This research contributes to the literature on maximizing by revealing the social cost of being a maximizer and the literature on choice perception by showing that decision makers are perceived by their aspiration.
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Individuals seek and value choice freedom, firms provide consumers ever‐increasing opportunities to exercise it, citizens worry about protecting their right to choose freely, and scholars across different disciplines study the topic around the globe. We adopt a consumer psychology perspective to systematize the vast literature on choice freedom, and we present a framework to examine the relationship between choice freedom and personal and societal well‐being. We begin by proposing choice freedom as an antecedent of autonomy and personal control and by clarifying the meaning of these interrelated constructs. We then use autonomy and personal control as separate processes to explain benefits and limits of choice freedom for well‐being, and we review interventions that mitigate the limits. Finally, we discuss future research questions related to autonomy and personal control. Whereas extant literature focuses on the presence of freedom and on the relationship between choice freedom and the individual, we reflect on the extent to which consumers actually have freedom of choice and on the role of others in the provision and exercise of choice freedom.
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It is well documented that maximizers are less happy with their product-choices than are satisficers, but would this mean that maximizers use their products less? We conducted two studies and found that, contrary to scores of studies that demonstrate maximizers regret their decisions, maximizers consume their selected options with more gusto than satisficers. Our results thus contribute to research on maximizing and specifically the “maximization paradox”—the notion that maximizers make better choices than satisficers yet feel worse. Taking a post-choice perspective to maximizing, we examined the paradox after a choice is made. In addition, our research sheds new light on scholarship in consumer behavior. Rich with scientific insights that reveal how to promote, nudge, or alter a product-choice, research in consumer behavior has rarely tested what naturally follows: how much a chosen product is used or consumed. Over two 1-month periods, we examined how much maximizers consumed their selected options, which illuminates the realm of post-choice behavior—the degree that consumers use a product after acquiring it.
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Many retailers use seemingly innocuous dividing lines to separate product alternatives on their websites or product catalogs. Although previous research on advertising design has focused on the impact of dividing lines on symbolic meanings or perceived categorization, the present research argues that, beyond symbolic or categorical functions, a dividing line can influence consumers' perceived quantity of the product alternatives displayed. Across 10 studies (including an eye‐tracking study and three additional studies reported in the Supporting Information Appendix), our results show that consumers perceive a smaller number of products displayed on a page when these products are separated by a dividing line compared to when they are not. This effect occurs because the dividing line separates the products into top versus bottom (or left vs. right) segments, such that participants' visual attention is largely drawn to the top (or the left) where their eyes first fixate. Consequently, participants tend to estimate the total number of items based on the subset they pay attention to. In addition, the effect is attenuated when participants' attention is directly drawn to the segment they have previously neglected and can hold regardless of line orientation. Finally, it can have several marketing outcomes, such as higher willingness to buy and lower post‐choice satisfaction.
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Despite the ubiquity of pets in consumers' lives, scant research has examined how exposure to them (e.g., recalling past interactions with dogs and cats, viewing ads featuring a dog or a cat as the spokescharacter) influences consumer behavior. The authors demonstrate that exposure to dogs (cats) reminds consumers of the stereotypical temperaments and behaviors of the pet species, which activates a promotion- (prevention-) focused motivational mindset among consumers. Using secondary data, Study 1 shows that people in states with a higher percentage of dog (cat) owners search more promotion- (prevention-) focused words and report a higher COVID-19 transmission rate. Using multiple products, Studies 2 and 3 demonstrate that these regulatory mindsets, when activated by pet exposure, carry over to influence downstream consumer judgments, purchase intentions, and behaviors, even in pet-unrelated consumption contexts. Study 4 show that pet stereotypicality moderates the proposed effect such that the relationship between pet exposure and regulatory orientations persists to the extent consumers are reminded of the stereotypical temperaments and behaviors of the pet species. Studies 5- 7 examine the role of regulatory fit and evince that exposure to dogs (cats) leads to more favorable responses toward advertising messages featuring promotion- (prevention-) focused appeals.
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Employees often make recurring decisions that entail deciding whether to continue using a “status quo” strategy that yields reliable results or try an alternative strategy of unknown efficacy. Via an experiment, we study how relative performance information (RPI) influences this choice and its expected outcome. We theorize and find that RPI has both a social motivational effect that increases employees’ propensity to explore alternative strategies and an informational effect that helps them determine whether exploring alternative strategies will likely help or harm their performance (i.e., it conveys decision-facilitating benefits). Likewise, as predicted, we also find that RPI’s decision-facilitating benefit occurs more strongly among low- versus high-performing employees. Our study helps inform employers about the decision-facilitating implications of incorporating RPI into their performance feedback systems.
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Not every consumer wants to read customer reviews after making a purchase. The present research examines whether consumers' individual differences in decision-making styles, namely maximizing and satisficing, can affect the extent to which consumers seek additional information such as customer reviews as well as the valence of such information after making a product choice. Findings from two studies show that maximizers exhibit a greater tendency to engage in postchoice information search than satisficers. Drawing upon the two-component model of maximization, the results also suggest that the maximization goal to choose the best is related to seeking additional information in favor of the initial choice (e.g., positive reviews) whereas the maximization strategy of alternative search is related to seeking further information both in favor of and against the initial choice (e.g., positive and negative reviews), which ultimately impacts consumers' choice satisfaction.
Article
Companies often encourage consumers to compare their performance with others hoping that a comparison with a superior other will motivate consumers in their goal pursuit. However, upward social comparison is often more motivating for maximizers than satisficers. In this research, we take a closer look at the often understudied satisficers and show what types of social comparisons motivate them. Based on the accuracy‐effort tradeoff, we propose that satisficers care less about achieving more and focus more on the other side of the tradeoff: exerting less effort. As a result, a comparison with a superior other who uses less input (vs. achieves more output) is more motivating for satisficers. Three studies support our prediction. While maximizers are motivated by comparing themselves to others who achieve more, satisficers are motivated more by superior others who use less input. Collectively, these findings suggest a more nuanced perspective on satisficers and have implications for both maximizing and social comparison literature.
Article
Decision-makers show a status-quo bias when they cannot relinquish status quo selections. Maximizers tend to be regretful and indecisive, while satisficers tend to be content. Does this mean that maximizers will show a larger status-quo bias than satisficers? Could the reverse occur? To answer these questions, we study the ways in which the moderating effect of the maximization trait on the choose-reject status-quo bias (choosing few options but also rejecting few) is itself moderated by three contextual factors: information load, counterfactuals, and mood. Our results show that, compared to each other, both maximizers and satisficers show a larger choose-reject status-quo bias under compatible contextual factors. Maximizers do so when information load is high (study 1), and satisficers do so when experiencing a downward counterfactual (study 2) and positive mood (study 3). We believe that compatible contextual moods amplify the influence of maximization trait moods and drive our effects.
Article
In this research, we address the question of whether and how a maximizing mindset influences product-bundle evaluations. We identify and test two routes of processing when maximizers evaluate product bundles: One route focuses on perceived value of the whole bundle, and one route focuses on the scrutiny of individual products in the bundle. The former route enhances the bundle preference whereas the latter decreases it. The positive effect of a maximizing mindset on bundle preference is primarily driven by the perception of savings. However, when it is explicit that there is no monetary savings (Study 1), or the implicit perception of savings is controlled for (Study 2), or the discount is framed in a way that promotes separation of bundle elements (i.e., discount on focal product; Study 3), or the products in the bundle are low on complementarity (Study 4), the negative effect through product scrutiny becomes significant.
Article
Although pickiness fundamentally concerns one’s preferences, there is currently no definition of this construct in the consumer psychology literature. This paper presents a conceptualization of shopper “pickiness” – an overly narrow latitude of acceptance around an idiosyncratic ideal point. Pickiness is revealed in two ways: pickiness by acceptance (PBA) (i.e., choosing to accept few options) and pickiness by rejection (PBR) (i.e., choosing to reject many options). This work introduces the Picky Shopper Scale to assess relative degrees of pickiness among individuals, show how pickiness is related to other individual‐difference variables, and articulate how pickiness differs from Maximizing. Picky shoppers consider both horizontal (taste‐based) and vertical (quality‐based) product attributes as important in product evaluation, while maximizers primarily prioritize vertical product attributes. A field test reveals that those who score higher on the Picky Shopper Scale (but not on a Maximizer scale) more frequently reject a free gift that comes with a subjectively undesirable horizontal attribute than those who score lower. Downstream implications of pickiness are discussed.
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The consequences of overconsumption and the recent popularity of simple living point to consumer interest in reducing belongings. They also raise an interesting question—what is a useful approach to downsizing and decluttering? We investigate how dis/order (messy vs. tidy items) affects downsizing and find, across nine focal studies, that (a) consumers retain fewer items when choosing from a disordered set because (b) order facilitates the comparisons within category that underlie the tendency to retain items. The impact of dis/order is altered by consumers’ comparison tendencies, waste aversion, and decision strategy (selection vs. rejection), which serve as theoretically and pragmatically relevant moderators. Though consumers’ lay beliefs favor rejecting from order (i.e., choosing what to get rid of from tidy items), our findings point to the usefulness of selecting from disorder (i.e., choosing what to keep from messy items) as a downsizing strategy. Together, this research has implications for consumer downsizing activities, the burgeoning home organization and storage industries, as well as sustainability.
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Inertia might secure consumers’ continued patronage, but it also can stunt potential expansion. By examining the psychology underlying inertia, this research informs managers about whether to engage inertial consumers proactively. In the proposed conceptual model, an inertia mindset orients a customer toward status quo consumption. This mindset emerges from dual sources, and each source consists of a behavioral and a psychological component. Specifically, the behavioral consistency of prior consumption activates an inertia mindset by prompting a psychological inclination to minimize thinking; the magnitude of prior consumption leads to inertia by evoking an inclination to minimize regret. Complementary survey and field studies offer support for the proposed model and reveal that a proactive loyalty reward can reinforce inertia based on regret minimization but disrupt inertia based on thinking minimization. Even well-intentioned marketing initiatives thus might be ineffective or detrimental, depending on the source and strength of inertia already present in the customer.
Article
In this study, we relied on the attentional switch cost to ascertain whether a crisis mindset can activate and momentarily bring related implicit knowledge into awareness. We found that the attentional switch cost was higher in a crisis mindset condition than in a common mindset condition in which non-crisis-related stimuli were being attended to (Experiment 1). However, the attentional switch cost was lower in the crisis mindset condition when crisis-related stimuli were being attended to (Experiment 2A), and the reduced cost was not attributable to the complexity of the stimuli (Experiment 2B). A link emerged in the crisis mindset condition between the attentional switch cost and related implicit knowledge (Experiment 3A and 3B). Potential confounding factors were adequately controlled (see the Appendix). In conclusion, the results offer insight into the pivotal role of a crisis mindset. This finding delineates an alternative pathway in which implicit knowledge can be activated and brought into working memory once an event is perceived and interpreted as a crisis.
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Job advertising is a common and useful recruitment marketing method that is available to a wide range of candidates and offers a practical way to widen the applicant pool. Frequently, retail advertisements only briefly introduce job requirements, but others provide more detailed information. Existing message studies, however, are inconclusive about the effectiveness of message specificity. A scenario‐based experiment that included 164 participants revealed that the type of decision maker (maximizer or satisficer) moderates the specificity effects in recruitment messages. After receiving a detailed job message, more satisficers stop their search process, but only maximizers perceive the company as more attractive and increase intentions toward the advertised job. A follow‐up qualitative study involving 30 participants provided further insights.
Article
Purpose Prior research consistently found maximizers to experience greater regret over their choice than satisficers. Moreover, research also found maximizers to be trapped in a “maximization-regret-maximization” cycle. This paper aims to assess the role of construal level theory in alleviating regret felt by maximizers. Design/methodology/approach The authors examine the construal level theory (CLT) in conjunction with the choice context (comparable and non-comparable choices). Three experimental studies tested our assertion that a match between CLT mindset and choice set relieves regret for maximizers. Findings The authors show maximizers experience similar levels of regret compared to satisficers when considering comparable options in a concrete mindset, and non-comparable options in an abstract mindset. However, maximizers experience heightened regret in comparison to satisficers when considering non-comparable (comparable) options in a concrete (abstract) mindset. Choice difficulty mediates our effect. Research limitations/implications Future research is needed to replicate our results in real-life settings. Practical implications If marketers think that their product is likely to be compared with other comparable products, they should adopt product-specific information that focusses on how the product would be used. However, if marketers think that consumers will compare across non-comparable products, then they should focus on why their product is the most suitable to fulfil consumers’ needs. Originality/value This research represents the first attempt at reducing regret for maximizers and answers the call for an examination of the relationship between maximization and CLT. The research adds to the maximization literature by evidencing a CLT-based strategy that attenuates the negative experience of regret for maximizers.
Article
The current research aims to clarify an important issue of whether maximizers maximize in private. Results from two studies describe how public versus private contexts influence maximizing behaviours. Study 1 (total N = 152, including two pre-tests) shows that in a public context, maximizers prefer high-value but effort-consuming products more than satisficers, but this distinction disappears in a private context. Study 2 (N = 130) reveals that only in public (but not in private) contexts do maximizers view more alternatives and spend more time on the decision process than satisficers. These findings suggest that maximizers do not maximize in private, but only in public. In conclusion, the current research contributes to the maximization literature by demonstrating that public contexts are essential for maximization, and that maximizers indeed do not always maximize. In private contexts, maximizers no longer behave like maximizers.
Chapter
The findings from the eight sports cases are extrapolated from the domain of sports to the managerial context, specifically to the overlapping domains of creativity and innovation. Each of the 21 cross-case insights from Chap. 2 is linked to corresponding scholarly discussions by comparing the present empirical findings to existing research. Additionally, normative recommendations for strategic actions, derived from the case-based insights, describe how firms can help individual employees in the process of rule-breaking behavior. The key insights are visualized in the Framework of Rule-Breaking Market Behavior that contains a precis of the findings.
Article
Where a lengthy period is available for the choice of tourist destination, people’s tendency to change their minds can be pronounced. This makes the investigation of preference (in)consistency of great interest. Here, we integrate construal level theory (CLT) with mind-set theory, for the first time, to explore the moderating effect of an internal factor (i.e. mind-set) on preference shifts from desirable to feasible attributes over time. The results of four choice experiments suggest that, compared with people with a satisficing mind-set, people with a maximizing mind-set are reluctant to sacrifice desirability for feasibility, which counters the inclination to alter preferences as the decision time approaches. Furthermore, we found that different preference patterns between maximizers and satisficers are not connected to desirability but result from maximizers’ consistency in placing less importance on feasibility. Implications for future studies and destination marketers are outlined.
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In this chapter a theory of motivation and emotion developed from an attributional perspective is presented. Before undertaking this central task, it might be beneficial to review the progression of the book. In Chapter 1 it was suggested that causal attributions have been prevalent throughout history and in disparate cultures. Studies reviewed in Chapter 2 revealed a large number of causal ascriptions within motivational domains, and different ascriptions in disparate domains. Yet some attributions, particularly ability and effort in the achievement area, dominate causal thinking. To compare and contrast causes such as ability and effort, their common denominators or shared properties were identified. Three causal dimensions, examined in Chapter 3, are locus, stability, and controllability, with intentionality and globality as other possible causal properties. As documented in Chapter 4, the perceived stability of a cause influences the subjective probability of success following a previous success or failure; causes perceived as enduring increase the certainty that the prior outcome will be repeated in the future. And all the causal dimensions, as well as the outcome of an activity and specific causes, influence the emotions experienced after attainment or nonattainment of a goal. The affects linked to causal dimensions include pride (with locus), hopelessness and resignation (with stability), and anger, gratitude, guilt, pity, and shame (with controllability).
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Three experiments tested whether counterfactual events can serve as primes. The evidence supports the hypothesis that counterfactuals prime a mental simulation mind-set that leads people to consider alternatives. Exposure to counterfactual scenarios affected person perception judgments in a later, unrelated task and this effect was distinct from semantic construct priming. Moreover, these effects were dependent on the availability of salient possible outcomes in the person perception task. Direction of the counterfactual comparison, upward or downward, did not moderate any of the effects, providing evidence that the process of thinking counterfactually, and not the content of the counterfactuals, was responsible for the priming effects. These experiments also provide evidence that the effects of mind-set accessibility, similar to semantic construct accessibility, are limited by the applicability of the primes to the later judgments. Implications for the nature of priming effects are discussed.
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Past research suggests that individuals who approach decisions with the goal of maximizing, or selecting the best possible option, show less satisfaction with their choices than those with the goal of satisficing, or selecting the first “good enough” option. The present investigation examines whether this difference in choice satisfaction stems from a difference in willingness to commit to one’s choices. We argue that maximizers are reticent to commit to their choices and that this reticence robs them of the dissonance reduction processes that leave people satisfied. In Study 1, maximizers reported a stronger preference than satisficers for retaining the possibility to revise choices, both when reporting preferences in their own life and when choosing between options in a hypothetical situation. In Study 2, satisficers showed evidence of classic dissonance reduction after making a choice – they offered higher ratings of a chosen poster and lower ratings of the rejected alternatives, relative to baseline. However, maximizers were less likely to change their impressions of the posters after their choice, leaving them less satisfied with their selected poster. These results provide valuable insight into post-decision processes that decrease maximizers’ satisfaction with their decisions.
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Investors, like any decision maker, feel regret when they compare the outcome of an investment with what the outcome would have been had they invested differently. We argue and show that this counterfactual comparison process is most likely to take place when the decision maker's expectations are violated. Across five scenario experiments we found that decision makers were influenced only by forgone investment outcomes when the realized investment fell short of the expected result. However, when their investments exceeded prior expectations, the effect of foregone investment on regret disappeared. In addition, Experiment 4 found that individual differences in the need to maximize further moderated the effects of their expectations, such that maximizers always take into account the forgone investment. The final experiment found that when probed to make counterfactual comparisons, also investments that exceed expectations may lead to regret. Together these experiments reveal insights into the comparative processes leading to decision regret.
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We present the Maximization Inventory, which consists of three separate scales: decision difficulty, alternative search, and satisficing. We show that the items of the Maximization Inventory have much better psychometric properties when compared to the original Maximization Scale (Schwartz et al., 2002). The satisficing scale is a new addition to the study of maximization behavior, and we demonstrate that this scale is positively correlated with positive adaptation, whereas the decision difficulty and alternative search scales are positively correlated with nonproductive decisional behavior. The Maximization Inventory was then compared to previous maximization scales and, while the decision difficulty and alternative search scales are positively correlated with similar previous constructs, the satisficing scale offers a dimension entirely different from maximization.
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Prior research has typically attempted to distinguish one emotion from another by identifying distinctive expressions, physiology, and subjective qualities. Recent theories claim emotions can also be differentiated by distinctive action tendencies, actions, and motivational goals. To test hypotheses from both older and more recent theories, 100 Ss were asked to recall experiences of particular negative emotions and answer questions concerning what they felt, thought, felt like doing, actually did, and wanted. Results support hypotheses specifying characteristic responses for fear, sadness, distress, frustration, disgust, dislike, anger, regret, guilt, and shame. The findings indicate that discrete emotions have distinctive goals and action tendencies, as well as thoughts and feelings. In addition, they provide empirical support for hypothesized emotion states that have received insufficient attention from researchers. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Baron and Kenny's procedure for determining if an independent variable affects a dependent variable through some mediator is so well known that it is used by authors and requested by reviewers almost reflexively. Many research projects have been terminated early in a research program or later in the review process because the data did not conform to Baron and Kenny's criteria, impeding theoretical development. While the technical literature has disputed some of Baron and Kenny's tests, this literature has not diffused to practicing researchers. We present a nontechnical summary of the flaws in the Baron and Kenny logic, some of which have not been previously noted. We provide a decision tree and a step-by-step procedure for testing mediation, classifying its type, and interpreting the implications of findings for theory building and future research. (c) 2010 by JOURNAL OF CONSUMER RESEARCH, Inc..
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This series of four studies was designed to clarify the underlying dimensionality and psychological well-being correlates of the major extant measures of the maximization tendency: the Maximization Scale (MS; Schwarz et al., 2002) and the Maximization Tendency Scale (MTS; Diab et al., 2008). Four studies using psychometric and factor analysis, item response theory (IRT), and an experimental manipulation all supported the following conclusions. The MS does measure three separate factors as postulated by its authors, but only two of them (alternative search and decisional difficulty) are correlated with each other and (negatively) with indices of well-being as postulated by the scale authors; high standards, the third factor, correlated strongly with the MTS, and both of these were strongly correlated with positive indices of well-being (optimism and happiness) and functioning (e.g., self-esteem and self-efficacy). The high standards subscale and MTS were related to analytical decision making style, while alternative search and decision difficulty were related to the regret-based decision making style and to procrastination. The IRT analysis indicated serious weaknesses in the measurement capabilities of existing scales, and the findings of the experimental study confirmed that alternative search and decision difficulty are related to the maximization tendency while high standards and MTS are not. Implications for further research and scale development are discussed.
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Five experiments investigated the relative prevalence of three search patterns that individuals may use in explaining events with multiple possible causes: (1) parallel search—pursue information about all possible causes before making any causal judgments, (2) serial search—clarify the role of one cause before considering any others, (3) truncated search—clarify the role of one cause without proceeding to consider other causes. In Experiments 1, 2, and 3, subjects were told about an event, two or three nonexclusive possible causes of the event, and a fact implicating one of the suggested causes as influencing the event. Subjects were asked for the question whose answer would help them most in explaining the event. In each experiment, subjects preferred to clarify the role of the implicated cause, a pattern congruent with both the serial and truncated search strategies. Results of a fourth experiment indicated that these preferences reflect a truncated rather than a serial search. A final experiment demonstrated that the preference for information about the implicated cause persists even with the opportunity for a more extended search.
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The authors investigate whether it is necessary to include disconfirmation as an intervening variable affecting satisfaction as is commonly argued, or whether the effect of disconfirmation is adequately captured by expectation and perceived performance. Further, they model the process for two types of products, a durable and a nondurable good, using experimental procedures in which three levels of expectations and three levels of performance are manipulated for each product in a factorial design. Each subject's perceived expectations, performance evaluations, disconfirmation, and satisfaction are subsequently measured by using multiple measures for each construct. The results suggest the effects are different for the two products. For the nondurable good, the relationships are as typically hypothesized. The results for the durable good are different in important respects. First, neither the disconfirmation experience nor subjects’ initial expectations affected subjects’ satisfaction with it. Rather, their satisfaction was determined solely by the performance of the durable good. Expectations did combine with performance to affect disconfirmation, though the magnitude of the disconfirmation experience did not translate into an impact on satisfaction. Finally, the direct performance-satisfaction link accounts for most of the variation in satisfaction.
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Americans now live in a time and a place in which freedom and autonomy are valued above all else and in which expanded opportunities for self-determination are regarded as a sign of the psychological well-being of individuals and the moral well-being of the culture. This article argues that freedom, autonomy, and self-determination can become excessive, and that when that happens, freedom can be experienced as a kind of tyranny. The article further argues that unduly influenced by the ideology of economics and rational-choice theory, modern American society has created an excess of freedom, with resulting increases in people's dissatisfaction with their lives and in clinical depression. One significant task for a future psychology of optimal functioning is to deemphasize individual freedom and to determine which cultural constraints are necessary for people to live meaningful and satisfying lives.
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We propose a theory of regret regulation that distinguishes regret from related emotions, specifies the conditions under which regret is felt, the aspects of the decision that are regretted, and the behavioral implications. The theory incorporates hitherto scattered findings and ideas from psychology, economics, marketing, and related disciplines. By identifying strategies that consumers may employ to regulate anticipated and experienced regret, the theory identifies gaps in our current knowledge and thereby outlines opportunities for future research.
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Two experiments suggested differential determinants of the activation versus content of counterfactual thinking. Activation refers to whether counterfactuals consciously come to mind and was assessed by thought-listing and response-latency measures. Content refers to which antecedent forms the basis of the counterfactual and was assessed using categorical codings of thought-listings. Counterfactual activation was facilitated by negative as opposed to positive outcomes, and this effect was mediated by affective experience. Expectancy violation did not influence counterfactual activation. Normality (whether an outcome was preceded by exceptional versus normal events) had no effect on activation, but it did influence content in such a way that counterfactuals more often mutated exceptional than normal antecedents. These findings are consistent with a functionalist depiction of counterfactual thinking.
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This article considers some basic insights from behavioural research and their implications for consumer protection. It outlines some fundamental features of the social and institutional environments in which consumers interact, and discusses the behavioural tendencies, and potential failures, likely to arise in such contexts. Of particular interest, is the tension that emerges between the empirical findings and standard assumptions about human agents that typically guide the social sciences and policy. A behavioural perspective, it is argued, can help make sense of what might otherwise be seen as economic 'puzzles' in the behaviour of consumers. This perspective highlights the ability of a behaviourally informed and insightful design and regulation of consumer protection to lead to improved consumer welfare.
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The authors investigate whether it is necessary to include disconfirmation as an intervening variable affecting satisfaction as is commonly argued, or whether the effect of disconfirmation is adequately captured by expectation and perceived performance. Further, they model the process for two types of products, a durable and a nondurable good, using experimental procedures in which three levels of expectations and three levels of performance are manipulated for each product in a factorial design. Each subject's perceived expectations, performance evaluations, disconfirmation, and satisfaction are subsequently measured by using multiple measures for each construct. The results suggest the effects are different for the two products. For the nondurable good, the relationships are as typically hypothesized. The results for the durable good are different in important respects. First, neither the disconfirmation experience nor subjects' initial expectations affected subjects' satisfaction with it. Rather, their satisfaction was determined solely by the performance of the durable good. Expectations did combine with performance to affect disconfirmation, though the magnitude of the disconfirmation experience did not translate into an impact on satisfaction. Finally, the direct performance-satisfaction link accounts for most of the variation in satisfaction.
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Consumers frequently engage in sequential decisions. This article explores whether the order of these decisions can influence the manner in which consumers search through the possible choice options. Results from five studies suggest that ordering decisions by increasing (vs. decreasing) choice-set size leads to greater search depth (measured by both sampling count and decision time). Initial, smaller choice sets in increasing sequences appear to initiate a maximizing mind-set, which then persists even as participants encounter later, larger choice sets. These participants report a greater desire to maximize and are less satisfied with their decisions, consistent with research on chronic maximizers. In addition, they continue to exhibit maximizing behavior in subsequent, unrelated tasks, supporting a mind-set account of the differences in search. In sum, decision makers are proposed to be “sticky adapters”: initial decision strategies seem to constrain the extent to which they adapt to new contexts.
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Although the assumption of utility-maximizing consumers has been challenged for decades, empirical applications of alternative choice rules are still very new. We add to this growing body of literature by proposing a model based on the idea of a “satisficing” decision maker. In contrast to previous models (including recent models implementing alternative choice rules), satisficing depends on the order in which alternatives are evaluated. We therefore conduct a visual conjoint experiment to collect search and choice data. We model search and product evaluation jointly and allow for interdependence between them. The choice rule incorporates a conjunctive rule for the evaluations and, contrary to most previous models, does not rely on compensatory trade-offs at all. The results strongly support the proposed model. For instance, we find that search is indeed influenced by product evaluations. More importantly, the model results strongly support the satisficing stopping rule. Finally, we perform a holdout prediction task and find that the proposed model outperforms a standard multinomial logit model.
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Norm theory (Kahneman & Miller, 1986) identifies factors that determine the ease with which alternatives to reality can be imagined or constructed. One assumption of norm theory is that the greater the availability of imagined alternatives to an event, the stronger will be the affective reaction elicited by the event. The present two experiments explore this assumption in the context of observers' reactions to victims. It was predicted that negative outcomes that strongly evoked positive alternatives would elicit more sympathy from observers than negative outcomes that weakly evoked positive alternatives. The ease of counterfactual thought was manipulated in the first experiment by the spatial distance between the negative outcome and a positive alternative, and in the second experiment by the habitualness of the actions that precipitated the victimization. Consistent with norm theory, subjects recommended more compensation for victims of fates for which a positive alternative was highly available. Implications of the results for various types of reactions to victims are discussed.
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Dissatisfied customers may express their dissatisfaction behaviorally. These behavioral responses may impact the firms' profitability. How do we model the impact of emotions on satisfaction and subsequent customer behaviors? There are essentially two approaches: the valence-based approach and the specific emotions approach. The authors indicate theoretically and show empirically that it matters to distinguish these approaches in services research. Dissatisfaction and the specific emotions disappointment and regret were assessed and their influence on customers' behavioral responses (complaining, switching, word-of-mouth, and customer inertia) was examined, using a sample of over 900 customers. It was found that emotions have a direct impact on behavior, over and above the effects of dissatisfaction. Hence, the authors argue against incorporating emotions such as regret and disappointment into a general (dis)satisfaction measure (i.e., the valence-based approach), and in favor of a specific emotions approach to customer dissatisfaction. Implications for services marketing practice and theory are discussed.
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The cognitive and motor behavior that people perform in the course of pursuing a goal can induce a mind-set that persists to influence the strategy they use to attain very different goals in unrelated situations. Although the strategies governed by a mind-set are typically applied consciously and deliberately, they are performed without awareness of the reasons for their selection. Research in both social psychology and consumer behavior exemplifies the impact of mind-sets on comprehension, judgments, and decision making, thus providing evidence of the scope and diversity of their effects.
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A model is proposed which expresses consumer satisfaction as a function of expectation and expectancy disconfirmation. Satisfaction, in turn, is believed to influence attitude change and purchase intention. Results from a two-stage field study support the scheme for consumers and nonconsumers of a flu inoculation.
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Results of a laboratory experiment indicate that customer satisfaction with a product is influenced by the effort expended to acquire the product, and the expectations concerning the product. Specifically, the experiment suggests that satisfaction with the product may be higher when customers expend considerable effort to obtain the product than when they use only modest effort. This finding is opposed to usual notions of marketing efficiency and customer convenience. The research also suggests that customer satisfaction is lower when the product does not come up to expectations than when the product meets expectations.
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The mental processes by which people construct scenarios, or examples, resemble the running of the simulation model. Mental simulation appears to be used to make predictions, assess probabilities and evaluate casual statements. A particular form of simulation, which concerns the mental undoing of certain events, plays an important role in the analysis of regret and close calls. Two rules of mental undoing are proposed. According to the downhill rule, people undo events by removing surprising or unexpected occurrences. According to the focus rule, people manipulate the entities on which they focus. The implications of the rules of undoing and mental simulation to the evaluation of scenarios are discussed. (Author)
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The hedonic principle that people approach pleasure and avoid pain has been the basic motivational principle throughout the history of psychology. This principle underlies motivational models across all levels of analysis in psychology from the biological to social. However, it is noted that the hedonic principle is very basic and is limited as an explanatory variable. Almost any area of motivation can be discussed in terms of the hedonic principle. This chapter describes two different ways in which the hedonic principle operates—namely, one with a promotion focus and other with a prevention focus. These different ways of regulating pleasure and pain, called “regulatory focus,” have a major impact on people's feelings, thoughts, and actions that is independent of the hedonic principle per se. The chapter also presents some background information about another regulatory variable, called the “regulatory reference.” A self-regulatory system with a positive reference value essentially has a desired end state as the reference point.
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Introduction, 99. — I. Some general features of rational choice, 100.— II. The essential simplifications, 103. — III. Existence and uniqueness of solutions, 111. — IV. Further comments on dynamics, 113. — V. Conclusion, 114. — Appendix, 115.
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In this chapter, we first propose some working definitions of priming effects as distinct from other effects of prior information processing on further target perception. Then, in the second part we review the main findings within the vast field of social psychological research on knowledge accessibility, including perceptual readiness, retrieval from memory, disambiguation, the effects of priming related to behavior and motivation, procedural priming, affective and evaluative priming, and chronic accessibility. The third part examines some theoretical principles that emerge from this review--including factors affecting decay rates and intensity of priming, how accessibility from different sources combines, and how applicability and accessibility compensate for each other. The fourth part examines metacognitive processes related to priming, and the fifth part examines the possible function of different priming effects--what do they serve and what would moderate such effects. The final part examines some applications of the principles of accessibility in social psychology. Specifically, we discuss using affective priming to measure attitudes, to assess motivations and personal concerns, and to understand processes of thought suppression. We do not review models of accessibility as these have been examined in detail elsewhere. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Using data representative of the national population 18 yrs of age and older, the author employs the major social variables of class, age, education, and income to explain variance in life satisfactions. Topics include residential environment, work experience, marriage and family life, personal resources and competence, the situation of women, and the quality of life for Blacks. Policy implications and the relationship between perceptual assessments and objective conditions are also evaluated. (61/2 p ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Investigated dominant simplifying strategies people use in adapting to different information processing environments. It was hypothesized that judges operating under either time pressure or distraction would systematically place greater weight on negative evidence than would their counterparts under less strainful conditions. 6 groups of male undergraduates (N = 210) were presented 5 pieces of information to assimilate in evaluating cars as purchase options. 3 groups operated under varying time pressure conditions, while 3 groups operated under varying levels of distraction. Data usage models assuming disproportionately heavy weighting of negative evidence provided best fits to a signficantly higher number of Ss in the high time pressure and moderate distraction conditions. Ss attended to fewer data dimensions in these conditions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Contends that previous research on the expectancy disconfirmation problem has been unjustified in concluding that no disconfirmation effect exists because (a) proper tests for the effect were conducted only for low expectancy Ss and (b) cumulative effects of expectancy disconfirmation comparable to the cumulative effects of winning or losing were never assessed. The present study achieved these ends by unconfounding overall performance expectancy and expectancies, outcomes, and disconfirmations on individual trials. 96 college students were given either high or low overall expectancies and then played a series of 20 games. On each game, Ss made outcome predictions that were confirmed either 25, 50, or 75% of the time, independently of overall expectancies, trial outcomes, and overall feedback. Results show that a loss on a particular trial was less satisfying when unexpected and a win on a particular trial was more satisfying when expected only for Ss with high overall expectancies; cumulative expectancy disconfirmation had a negative effect on all of the Ss. (34 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Several problems, all solvable by one somewhat complex procedure, are presented in succession. If afterwards a similar task is given which can be solved by a more direct and simple method, will the individual be blinded to this direct possibility ( Einstellung)? If a blinding effect does result, will it be of characteristically different strength in groups that differ in educational level, age, etc.? Moreover, if we introduce means to save the subjects or to rescue them from such blindness, will these means readily work? Will they operate differently in various groups? And what may be the real cause for the blinding effect? How are we to understand this phenomenon? (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
When considered in the context of prior research, the articles in this special issue on verbal overshadowing largely support the contention that verbalization can induce a processing shift that interferes with the application of non-verbal operations. Multiple sources of evidence for a processing shift are reviewed, including: (1) verbalization quality often does not correspond to recognition performance; (2) describing one stimulus can interfere with memory for a different stimulus; (3) engaging in a featural processing tasks impairs recognition in a manner comparable to verbalization; and (4) engaging in non-verbal tasks can reverse the negative effects of verbalization. In the light of this evidence, it is suggested that verbalization produces a ‘transfer inappropriate processing shift’ whereby the cognitive operations engaged in during verbalization dampen the activation of brain regions associated with critical non-verbal operations. This account of verbal overshadowing is then used to explain both the generality and fragility of the verbal overshadowing effect. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Article
The present study investigates how the Big Five personality traits may play a role in explaining the negative association between maximization and well-being. Contrary to expectation that conscientiousness drives one’s tendency to maximize, neuroticism emerged as the strongest predictor. Further, when controlling for personality traits, the negative relations between maximization (and its facets) and various well-being variables were appreciably attenuated. However, the tendency to experience regret was found to fully mediate the negative relationship between maximization and satisfaction with life even after controlling for personality traits. Our findings suggest that the measurement of maximization may over-represent an affective component of maximizing that leads to decision-related distress while neglecting a more cognitive component, which might reflect a preference for planned, yet painstaking, searches for the “best.”
Article
We demonstrate that counterfactuals prime a mental simulation mind-set in which relevant but potentially converse alternatives are considered and that this mind-set activation has behavioral consequences. This mind-set is closely related to the simulation heuristic (Kahne-man & Tversky, 1982). Participants primed with a counterfactual were more likely to solve the Duncker candle problem (Experiment 1), suggesting that they noticed an alternative function for one of the objects, an awareness that is critical to solving the problem. Participants primed with a counterfactual were more likely to simultaneously affirm the consequent and select the potentially falsifying card, but without selecting the irrelevant card, in the Wason card selection task, suggesting that they were testing both the stated conditional and its reverse (Experiment 2). The increased affirmations of the consequent decreased correct solutions on the task—thus, the primed mind-set can bias or debias thought and action. Finally, Experiment 3 provides further evidence that counterfactual primes increase the accessibility of relevant alternatives. Counterfactual primes attenuated the confirmation bias in a trait hypothesis testing context by increasing the selection of questions designed to elicit hypothesis-disconfirming answers, but without increasing the selection of neutral questions. The nature of priming effects and the role of counterfactual thinking in biasing and debiasing thought and action are discussed.
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A series of laboratory and field experiments reveal a detrimental effect of presenting options sequentially (one at a time) versus simultaneously (all at once) on choosers’ satisfaction with and commitment to their chosen option. This is because choosers presented with their options simultaneously tend to remain focused on the current set of options comparing them amongst each other, whereas choosers presented with their options sequentially tend to imagine a better option, hoping it will become available. This feeling of hope undermines how choosers subsequently experience their selected option, resulting in lower satisfaction and commitment levels. Sequential choosers consequently exhibit lower outcome satisfaction regardless of which option they choose, whether sequentially passed-up options remain available, and whether they have equivalent option information as simultaneous choosers. Thus, enjoying the most satisfaction from one’s choice might require being willing to give up the eternal quest for the best.
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Because consumer satisfaction is an important determinant of brandloyalty and word-of-mouth communications, it has been widely studied inthe marketing literature. Much of this literature follows theexpectancy-disconfirmation paradigm, which posits satisfaction to be afunction of the positive or negative disconfirmation of one'sexpectations about the chosen brand. This article proposes a richermodel of consumer satisfaction that incorporates effects ofexpectations about the options not ultimately chosen from theconsideration set. Specifically, we posit that the expectations aboutthe unchosen alternatives affect satisfaction with one's choice whenthat choice does not meet the expectations but will have little effectwhen the choice meets expectations. A series of experimental studiesprovide support for this approach.
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A considerable amount of past research has examined the effects of regret aversion on which options decision makers choose. However, past research has largely neglected to address the effect of regret aversion on the decision process. We conducted five experiments to examine the effect of making regret salient on decision process quality. We predicted that increased regret aversion would lead to more careful decision processing. The results consistently supported this prediction across the different decision situations, incentive structures, regret salience manipulations, and dependent variables used. In all experiments making regret salient led decision makers to take significantly longer to reach a decision. In Studies 2a, 2b, and 4 it also led participants to collect significantly more information before making a choice. Implications and future directions are discussed.
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Regret is the result of a comparison between “what is” and “what might have been”. Although regret is a relevant emotion in the life of investors, research studying the regrets of real investors and how these are influenced by multiple reference points is lacking. We present a field survey that investigated the regrets of real stock investors in relation to multiple “what might have been’s.” We found that their regrets are most influenced by what their outcomes might have been had they not invested, by their expected outcomes and by the best-performing unchosen stocks. In addition, we also found that the feeling of regret was influenced by losses or gains relative to each reference point rather than by the size of the loss or gain.