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Schwartz et al. (2002) proposed that individuals who approach decisions with the goal of maximizing (selecting the best possible option) as opposed to satisficing (selecting the first "good enough" option encountered) suffer from increased regret and decreased choice satisfaction. The research conducted to date has focused largely on differences between maximizers and satisficers in how they make decisions. The current work focuses on an important post-decisional process that might undermine maximizers' happiness, a lack of commitment to the chosen option. I argue that maximizers are more likely than satisficers to delay decision commitment and to not experience one of the typical benefits of committed choice, spreading of alternatives (changing evaluations of the alternatives in favor of the decision). In Study 1, maximizers experienced less spreading of alternatives after making a decision than satisficers. In Study 2, maximizers were more likely than satisficers to prefer a changeable outcome and to self-report a preference for avoiding decision commitment. These results provide valuable insight into post-decision processes that lead maximizers to be less satisfied than satisficers with their decisions.
Spreading of Alternatives, Commitment, Satisficing, Maximizing
Date of Defense
May 7, 2010.
A Thesis Submitted to the Department of Psychology in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Science.
Includes bibliographical references.
Florida State University
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