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Publications [#352412] of James R. Bettman

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Journal Articles

  1. Affonso, FM; Janiszewski, C; Bettman, JR (2021). Boundaries of Constructive Choice: On the Accessibility of Maximize Accuracy and Minimize Effort Goals. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 31(2), 217-239. [doi]
    (last updated on 2022/08/14)

    The impact of decision difficulty on search behavior depends on the relative accessibility of maximize accuracy and minimize effort goals in memory. The default assumption, derived from constructive choice theory, is that maximize accuracy and minimize effort goals are both accessible. Thus, the two goals compete to influence a decision process. When this is the case, an increase in decision difficulty discourages search and the opportunity to make an accurate decision suffers. The alternative assumption, derived from goal systems theory, is that maximize accuracy and minimize effort goals can be differentially accessible. When one of these goals is more accessible, decision difficulty signals poor goal progress and reduces goal pursuit. That is, when a maximize accuracy (minimize effort) goal is more accessible, decision difficulty reduces (increases) search. Six studies show that goal systems theory holds when a maximize accuracy or minimize effort goal is more accessible, that is, is deliberately pursued. The results have implications for how decision difficulty influences information search, satisficing, and choice quality.

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