Decision Quicksand: How Trivial Choices Suck Us In
AbstractPeople often get unnecessarily mired in trivial decisions. Four studies support a metacognitive account for this painful phenomenon. Our central premise is that people use subjective experiences of difficulty while making a decision as a cue to how much further time and effort to spend. People generally associate important decisions with difficulty. Consequently, if a decision feels unexpectedly difficult, due to even incidental reasons, people may draw the reverse inference that it is also important and consequently increase the amount of time and effort they expend. Ironically, this process is particularly likely for decisions that initially seemed unimportant because people expect them to be easier (whereas important decisions are expected to be difficult to begin with). Our studies demonstrate that unexpected difficulty not only causes people to get caught up in unimportant decisions but also to voluntarily seek more options, which can increase decision difficulty even further.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by University of Chicago Press in its journal Journal of Consumer Research.
Volume (Year): 39 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 360 - 370
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/JCR/
You can help add them by filling out this form.
reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Journals Division).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.