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Can self-generated choice options result in reduced choice satisfaction?

Marc-LluĂ­s Vives
Leiden University ~ Psychology
Pablo Leon Villagra
University of Warwick ~ Psychology

Making decisions often requires generating a list of candidate choices from memory and considering the value of the generated candidates before making a decision. That posits a dilemma: at which point should we stop generating candidates and choose from the current options? Models of multiattribute choice suggest that more extended evidence accumulation will result in less noisy evidence, and, as a result, the value assigned to candidate choices should more closely resemble one's true preferences. This account would predict that longer intervals of generating candidate choices should result in higher satisfaction with one's choices. However, research in consumer Psychology has highlighted that, in many cases, having access to more options can be detrimental for choice satisfaction (Scheibehenne et al., 2006). Therefore, it is plausible that considering more candidates when generating potential choices can result in lower choice satisfaction. Here, we perform the first systematic analysis of choice candidate generation and resulting choice satisfaction. We first investigate the relationship between the number of candidates produced before deciding on the resulting choice satisfaction, expecting that people who list more options end up less satisfied with their choice. In a second experiment, we will further explore this effect by manipulating the number of candidate options participants generate before deciding. Finally, we will extend current models of choice (Bhatia et al., 2021) to build a model that can produce diminished choice satisfaction with larger numbers of candidate options. Our approach rests on the idea that longer consideration duration increases the likelihood of more heterogenous candidates, making comparing and evaluating these candidates more complex. Our approach combines current models of memory search with decision-making and choice satisfaction allowing us to shed light on the processes that govern everyday decision-making.



decision making
memory search
choice satisfaction

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Cite this as:

Vives, M.-L., & Leon Villagra, P. (2023, July). Can self-generated choice options result in reduced choice satisfaction? Abstract published at MathPsych/ICCM/EMPG 2023. Via