Consumers chose between options that paired either an objectively inferior good with high relative standing (Your laptop is rated 60/100 in quality; others' laptops are rated 50/100) or an objectively superior good with low relative standing (Your laptop is rated 80/100 in quality; others' laptops are rated 95/100). Decision makers who try to make the "best" decision, known as maximizers (Schwartz et al., 2002), pursued relative standing more than decision makers who are satisfied with outcomes that are "good enough" (known as satisficers). That is, maximizers were more likely than satisficers to choose objectively inferior products when they were associated with higher relative standing. Subsequent analyses investigating decisions across time showed that maximizers' interest in relative standing persisted even when the nature of the tradeoff was made overt, suggesting it is a conscious aspect of the maximizer identity. Overall, results suggest that the maximizer self concept is more complex than has been previously assumed-they are focused on relative outcomes in addition to absolute outcomes.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2014 Society for Consumer Psychology.
- Consumer competition
- Consumer decision making
- Consumer identity processes
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Psychology