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Are Maximizers Really Unhappy? The Measurement of Maximizing Tendency
Judgment and Decision Making Journal
  • Scott Edward Highhouse, Bowling Green State University - Main Campus
  • Dalia L. Diab
  • Michael A. Gillespie
Document Type
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.
Publication Date
Social Judgment & Decision Making
Citation Information
Scott Edward Highhouse, Dalia L. Diab and Michael A. Gillespie. "Are Maximizers Really Unhappy? The Measurement of Maximizing Tendency" Judgment and Decision Making Journal Vol. 3 Iss. 5 (2008) p. 364 - 370
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