Military maximizers: Examining the effect of individual differences in maximization on military decision-making

Neil Shortland, Laurence Alison, Lisa Thompson
2020 Personality and Individual Differences  
A B S T R A C T The present study investigates the role maximization plays in explaining individual differences in decisionmaking in high-uncertainty situations. There is a wealth of evidence that maximization affects decision-making, yet the types of decisions that have been studied have been consumer-focused. Despite the known importance of maximization, the boundaries of maximization have not been explored. This research extends the study of maximization by evidencing that individual
more » ... ces in maximization influence decision-making with a sample of military personnel (n = 287) when they make both military (domain specific) and non-military (domain general) decisions. Furthermore, taxometric analysis allowed the researchers to explore the latent structure of maximization, identifying that it can also be conceptualized as a categorical (rather than a traditionally continuous) variable. Overall, high maximizers found decisions more difficult, were slower to choose an option and decide. These findings are in accord with a wealth of previous research on the effects of maximization, but demonstrate that the effect of maximization extends to applied decision-making with applied samples who make decisions in high-uncertainty situations. These findings have important theoretical implications for the study of maximization and the study of decision-making under uncertainty, as well as applied implications for issues such as personnel selection. -Nimrod, Rawn, Lehman, and Schwartz (2009) argues that individual differences in maximization moderate the "paradox of choice" in which people are attracted to larger assortments, but often dissatisfied with their eventual choice (see also Schwartz, 2004) . Maximization differentiates people based on their tendency to approach choices with the goal of finding the "best" possible option vs., satisficing for an option that is "good enough" according to their own https://doi. Maximization Dar
doi:10.1016/j.paid.2020.110051 fatcat:n5i57hsy3jg5fpoiew7776wuge