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Psychologists have developed a personality test that determines where an individual lies on the satisficer-maximizer spectrum. A maximizer is one who always seeks the very best option from a choice set, and may anguish after the choice is made as to whether it was indeed the best. Satisficers may set high standards but are content with a good choice, and place less priority on making the best choice.
Due to this different approach to decision-making, maximizers are more likely to avoid making a choice when the choice set size is large, probably to avoid the anguish associated with not knowing whether their choice was optimal.
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It found that maximizers reported a stronger preference for retaining the ability to revise choices. Additionally, after making a choice to buy a poster, satisficers offered higher ratings of their chosen poster and lower ratings of the rejected alternatives. Maximizers, however, were less likely to change their impressions of the posters after making their choice which left them less satisfied with their decision. Maximizers are less happy in life, perhaps due to their obsession with making optimal choices in a society where people are frequently confronted with choice.
In regards to buying products, maximizers were less satisfied with consumer decisions and were more regretful. They were also more likely to engage in social comparison, where they analyze their relative social standing among their peers, and to be more affected by social comparisons in which others appeared to be in higher standing than them. For example, maximizers who saw their peer solve puzzles faster than themselves expressed greater doubt about their own abilities and showed a larger increase in negative mood.
Others [ who? Choice architecture is the process of encouraging people to make good choices through grouping and ordering the decisions in a way that maximizes successful choices and minimizes the number of people who become so overwhelmed by complexity that they abandon the attempt to choose. Generally, success is improved by presenting the smaller or simpler choices first, and by choosing and promoting sensible default options. Certain choices, as personal preferences, can be central to expressing one's concept of self-identity or values.
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In general, the more utilitarian an item, the less the choice says about a person's self-concept. Purely functional items, such as a fire extinguisher , may be chosen solely for function alone, but non-functional items, such as music, clothing fashions, or home decorations, may instead be chosen to express a person's concept of self-identity or associated values. Sophia Rosenfeld analyses critical reactions to choice in her review  of some of the work of Iyengar ,  Ben-Porath,  Greenfield ,  and Salecl.
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Please improve the article or discuss the issue. This article contains weasel words : vague phrasing that often accompanies biased or unverifiable information. Such statements should be clarified or removed. April Social psychology Tenth ed. New York, NY. Retrieved 3 April Strike, , pg. Preference reversals between joint and separate evaluations of option: A review and theoretical analysis. Psychological Bulletin 5 , — Testing the tyranny of too much choice against the allure of more choice. The 'tyranny of choice': Choice overload as a possible instance of effort discounting.
The Psychological Record, 61 4 , Self-determination: The tyranny of freedom. American Psychologist, 55 1 , Decisions and revisions: The affective forecasting of changeable outcomes. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.
Keeping one's options open: The detrimental consequences of decision reversibility. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 47 4 , Failing to commit: Maximizers avoid commitment in a way that contributes to reduced satisfaction. Personality And Individual Differences, 52 1 , Maximizing versus satisficing: Happiness is a matter of choice. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 83 5 The Art of Choosing.
The Nation June 23—30, ed. Retrieved What if the real problem is the imperative of making all those choices in all those different realms, from sex to software, in the first place? This is the view of a small number of philosophers, legal theorists and culturally aware psychologists, including Barry Schwartz and, more recently, Sheena Iyengar, Sigal Ben-Porath, Kent Greenfield and Renata Salecl. Hachette UK. Princeton University Press. Yale University Press. The Tyranny of Choice. Big Ideas reprint ed. Profile Books Limited. Retrieved 3 April — via Amazon.
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