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      Maximizing versus satisficing: Happiness is a matter of choice.

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          Abstract

          Can people feel worse off as the options they face increase? The present studies suggest that some people--maximizers--can. Study 1 reported a Maximization Scale, which measures individual differences in desire to maximize. Seven samples revealed negative correlations between maximization and happiness, optimism, self-esteem, and life satisfaction, and positive correlations between maximization and depression, perfectionism, and regret. Study 2 found maximizers less satisfied than nonmaximizers (satisficers) with consumer decisions, and more likely to engage in social comparison. Study 3 found maximizers more adversely affected by upward social comparison. Study 4 found maximizers more sensitive to regret and less satisfied in an ultimatum bargaining game. The interaction between maximizing and choice is discussed in terms of regret, adaptation, and self-blame.

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          Most cited references 40

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          A Behavioral Model of Rational Choice

           Herbert Simon (1955)
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            Learned helplessness in humans: critique and reformulation.

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              Optimism, coping, and health: Assessment and implications of generalized outcome expectancies.

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
                Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
                American Psychological Association (APA)
                1939-1315
                0022-3514
                2002
                2002
                : 83
                : 5
                : 1178-1197
                Article
                10.1037/0022-3514.83.5.1178
                7a7f5c1e-45a2-4efe-bd8d-fd74b726036e
                © 2002

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