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Are maximizers really unhappy? The measurement of maximizing tendency

Author

Listed:
  • Dalia L. Diab
  • Michael A. Gillespie
  • Scott Highhouse

Abstract

Recent research suggesting that people who maximize are less happy than those who satisfice has received considerable fanfare. The current study investigates whether this conclusion reflects the construct itself or rather how it is measured. We developed an alternative measure of maximizing tendency that is theory-based, has good psychometric properties, and predicts behavioral outcomes. In contrast to the existing maximization measure, our new measure did not correlate with life (dis)satisfaction, nor with most maladaptive personality and decision-making traits. We conclude that the interpretation of maximizers as unhappy may be due to poor measurement of the construct. We present a more reliable and valid measure for future researchers to use.

Suggested Citation

  • Dalia L. Diab & Michael A. Gillespie & Scott Highhouse, 2008. "Are maximizers really unhappy? The measurement of maximizing tendency," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 3, pages 364-370, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:jdm:journl:v:3:y:2008:i::p:364-370
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Busemeyer, Jerome R. & Diederich, Adele, 2002. "Survey of decision field theory," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 345-370, July.
    2. K. Carrie Armel & Antonio Rangel, 2008. "The Impact of Computation Time and Experience on Decision Values," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 163-168.
    3. Weber, Elke U & Kirsner, Britt, 1997. "Reasons for Rank-Dependent Utility Evaluation," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 41-61, January.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Beja, Edsel Jr., 2012. "Drawing out the Satisficer from the Maximizer," MPRA Paper 39355, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. repec:jdm:journl:v:12:y:2017:i:5:p:516-526 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Linda Lai, 2011. "Maximizing and customer loyalty: Are maximizers less loyal?," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 6(4), pages 307-313, June.
    4. Konstantinos V. Katsikopoulos & Cherng-Horng (Dan) Lan, 2011. "Herbert Simon’s spell on judgment and decision making," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, pages 722-732.
    5. Nathan N. Cheek & Barry Schwartz, 2016. "On the meaning and measurement of maximization," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 11(2), pages 126-146, March.
    6. Sun, Shuhua & Vancouver, Jeffrey B. & Weinhardt, Justin M., 2014. "Goal choices and planning: Distinct expectancy and value effects in two goal processes," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 125(2), pages 220-233.
    7. Ali Besharat & Daniel Ladik & François Carrillat, 2014. "Are maximizers blind to the future? When today’s best does not make for a better tomorrow," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 25(1), pages 77-91, March.
    8. Justin M. Weinhardt & Brendan J. Morse & Janna Chimeli, 2012. "An item response theory and factor analytic examination of two prominent maximizing tendency scales," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 7(5), pages 644-658, September.
    9. repec:mgt:youmgt:v:15:y:2017:i:3:p:215-230 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Kausel, Edgar E. & Culbertson, Satoris S. & Leiva, Pedro I. & Slaughter, Jerel E. & Jackson, Alexander T., 2015. "Too arrogant for their own good? Why and when narcissists dismiss advice," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 33-50.
    11. Betty E. Tanius & Stacey Wood & Yaniv Hanoch & Thomas Rice, 2009. "Aging and choice: Applications to Medicare Part D," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 4(1), pages 92-101, February.
    12. Emilio Moyano-Díaz & Agustín Martínez-Molina & Fernando P. Ponce, 2014. "The price of gaining: maximization in decision-making, regret and life satisfaction," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 9(5), pages 500-509, September.
    13. Brandon M. Turner & Hye Bin Rim & Nancy E. Betz & Thomas E. Nygren, 2012. "The Maximization Inventory," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 7(1), pages 48-60, January.
    14. Hye Bin Rim & Brandon M. Turner & Nancy E. Betz & Thomas E. Nygren, 2011. "Studies of the dimensionality, correlates, and meaning of measures of the maximizing tendency," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 6(6), pages 565-579, August.
    15. Nicole M. Giacopelli & Kaila M. Simpson & Reeshad S. Dalal & Kristen L. Randolph & Samantha J. Holland, 2013. "Maximizing as a predictor of job satisfaction and performance: A tale of three scales," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 8(4), pages 448-469, July.
    16. repec:kap:mktlet:v:28:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s11002-017-9440-7 is not listed on IDEAS

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