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Studies of the dimensionality, correlates, and meaning of measures of the maximizing tendency

Listed author(s):
  • Hye Bin Rim
  • Brandon M. Turner
  • Nancy E. Betz
  • Thomas E. Nygren
Registered author(s):

    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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    Article provided by Society for Judgment and Decision Making in its journal Judgment and Decision Making.

    Volume (Year): 6 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 6 (August)
    Pages: 565-579

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    Handle: RePEc:jdm:journl:v:6:y:2011:i:6:p:565-579
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    1. Gergana Y. Nenkov & Maureen Morrin & Andrew Ward & Barry Schwartz & John Hulland, 2008. "A short form of the Maximization Scale: Factor structure, reliability and validity studies," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 3, pages 371-388, June.
    2. 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.
    3. Sonja Lyubomirsky & Heidi Lepper, 1999. "A Measure of Subjective Happiness: Preliminary Reliability and Construct Validation," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 46(2), pages 137-155, February.
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