Sheena Iyengar

The Psychological Pleasure and Pain of Choosing: When People Prefer Choosing at the Cost of Subsequent Well-Being

Coauthor(s): Simona Botti. View Publication

Abstract:
This empirical investigation tests the hypothesis that the benefits of personal choosing are restricted to choices made from among attractive alternatives. Findings from vignette and laboratory studies show that, contrary to people's self-predictions, choosers only proved more satisfied than non-choosers when selecting from among liked alternatives. When selecting from among disliked alternatives, the reverse is observed - that is, non-choosers proved more satisfied with the decision outcome than choosers. Subsequent analyses reveal that differences in outcome satisfaction between choosers and non-choosers emerge before the decision is experienced and interventions during the decision-making process can serve to attenuate these differences. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Source: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
Exact Citation:
Botti, Simona, and Sheena Iyengar. "The Psychological Pleasure and Pain of Choosing: When People Prefer Choosing at the Cost of Subsequent Well-Being." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 87, no. 3 (September 2004): 312-26.
Volume: 87
Number: 3
Pages: 312-26
Date: 9 2004