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Aspiration formation and satisficing in search with(out) competition


  • Werner Guth
  • Torsten Weiland


We experimentally explore individual and competitive search, and we test whether generally accepted principles of bounded rationality adequately explain observed search behavior. Subjects can, at a cost, employ screening and selection methods not only facilitating search but also directly revealing their aspirations. Most subjects follow the single threshold heuristic after extensive experimentation. Surprisingly, aspiration levels are set below the maximum value of all previously inspected alternatives. In competitive search, subjects tend to experiment less before engaging in satisficing and generally state lower aspirations. Finally, systematic satisficing seems to pay off.

Suggested Citation

  • Werner Guth & Torsten Weiland, 2011. "Aspiration formation and satisficing in search with(out) competition," New Zealand Economic Papers, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(1-2), pages 23-45.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:nzecpp:v:45:y:2011:i:1-2:p:23-45
    DOI: 10.1080/00779954.2011.556068

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    Cited by:

    1. Andrej Angelovski & Werner Güth, 2017. "When to Stop - A Cardinal Secretary Search Experiment," Working Papers CESARE 1706, Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza, LUISS Guido Carli.


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