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Choosing with confidence: Self-efficacy and preferences for choice


  • Andrew E. Reed
  • Joseph A. Mikels
  • Corinna E. Lockenhoff


Previous research on the role of choice set size in decision making has focused on decision outcomes and satisfaction. In contrast, little is known about interindividual differences in preferences for larger versus smaller choice sets, let alone the causes of such differences. Drawing on self-efficacy theory, two studies examined the role of decision-making self-efficacy in preferences for choice. Using a correlational approach, Study 1 (n = 89) found that decision-making self-efficacy was positively associated with preferences for choice across a range of consumer decisions. This association was found both between- and within-subjects. Study 2 (n = 65) experimentally manipulated decision-making self-efficacy for an incentive-compatible choice among photo printers. Preferences for choice and pre-choice information seeking were significantly lower in a low-efficacy condition compared to a high-efficacy condition and a control group. Future research directions and implications for decision-making theory and public policy are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew E. Reed & Joseph A. Mikels & Corinna E. Lockenhoff, 2012. "Choosing with confidence: Self-efficacy and preferences for choice," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 7(2), pages 173-180, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:jdm:journl:v:7:y:2012:i:2:p:173-180

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    References listed on IDEAS

    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. Chernev, Alexander, 2003. " When More Is Less and Less Is More: The Role of Ideal Point Availability and Assortment in Consumer Choice," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 30(2), pages 170-183, September.
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