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Choosing what I want or keeping what I should: The effect of decision strategy on choice consistency

  • Kogut, Tehila
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    We examine decision-makers' consistency vis-à-vis their own priorities in a multi-choice task, using either an inclusion or exclusion strategy to reduce a set of alternatives. Four studies demonstrate that people's decisions are more consistent with their priorities when using an exclusion vs. an inclusion strategy to screen alternatives. Moreover, this effect was stronger for less knowledgeable than for more knowledgeable decision-makers. We examined two possible mechanisms behind this phenomenon. First, we suggest that the process of thinking about the positive aspects of the alternatives (associated with inclusion) encourages the decision-maker to more favorably evaluate options initially given low marks, resulting in less consistency with preferences. We also show that under exclusion, people tend to select the alternatives that they think they should choose, while under inclusion they tend to choose options that are more in line with what they would like to have but which may be perceived as luxuries.

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    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.

    Volume (Year): 116 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 1 (September)
    Pages: 129-139

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jobhdp:v:116:y:2011:i:1:p:129-139
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    1. Levin, Irwin P. & Huneke, Mary E. & Jasper, J. D., 2000. "Information Processing at Successive Stages of Decision Making: Need for Cognition and Inclusion-Exclusion Effects," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 171-193, July.
    2. Carmon, Ziv & Wertenbroch, Klaus & Zeelenberg, Marcel, 2003. " Option Attachment: When Deliberating Makes Choosing Feel Like Losing," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(1), pages 15-29, June.
    3. Hsee, Christopher K., 1996. "The Evaluability Hypothesis: An Explanation for Preference Reversals between Joint and Separate Evaluations of Alternatives," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 67(3), pages 247-257, September.
    4. Ritov, Ilana & Baron, Jonathan, 1995. "Outcome Knowledge, Regret, and Omission Bias," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 119-127, November.
    5. Yaniv, Ilan & Schul, Yaacov, 2000. "Acceptance and Elimination Procedures in Choice: Noncomplementarity and the Role of Implied Status quo," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 293-313, July.
    6. Ordonez, Lisa D. & Benson, Lehman & Beach, Lee Roy, 1999. "Testing the Compatibility Test: How Instructions, Accountability, and Anticipated Regret Affect Prechoice Screening of Options," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 63-80, April.
    7. Huber, Vandra L. & Neale, Margaret A. & Northcraft, Gregory B., 1987. "Decision bias and personnel selection strategies," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 136-147, August.
    8. Irwin, Julie R, et al, 1993. " Preference Reversals and the Measurement of Environmental Values," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 5-18, January.
    9. J�rg Rieskamp & Jerome R. Busemeyer & Barbara A. Mellers, 2006. "Extending the Bounds of Rationality: Evidence and Theories of Preferential Choice," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 44(3), pages 631-661, September.
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