Are maximizers blind to the future? When today's best does not make for a better tomorrow

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Marketing Letters, 2014, 25 (1), pp. 77 - 91
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A number of studies have demonstrated that a maximizer's tendency to settle for only the best choice option leads them to discard the past and feel dissatisfied in the present. The current study, however, investigates whether maximizers' quests for perfection blinds them toward the future. A study of 522 respondents drawn from a probabilistic sample of the US population examines a series of hypotheses related to how a maximizer views the future. Consistent with the resource slack theory (i.e., the overestimation of the amount of time that will be available in the future), maximization tendencies diminish the consumer's ability to look ahead to the future, both directly and indirectly, through the intervening roles of both regret and polychronicity (i.e., multitasking). Maximizers do not estimate future task demand accurately as they associate strong feelings of regret with their previous choices and dismiss them as poor decisions. Additionally, low polychronicity hinders their capacity to set aside sufficient time resources to be devoted to future tasks when engrossed in a current task. Implications for managers and researchers are discussed before concluding with further research avenues and limitations. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.
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