Do maximizers maximize across decision domains? An assumption underlying the literature on maximizing is that the tendency to strive to make the best choice spans domains. The current research provides a direct test of this assumption by examining the association between trait maximizing and domain-specific maximizing, consisting of maximizing measures in a wide range of decisions (consumer goods, services and experiences, and life decisions). Study 1 tested this association at two different time points in order to minimize common method bias. Study 2 was a high-powered pre-registered cross-sectional replication. Results of both studies showed that trait maximizing was associated with higher maximizing tendencies across all three decision domains. However, in line with prior research suggesting that people generally maximize less in experiential than in material domains, trait maximizing was associated with maximizing in services and experiences significantly less than with maximizing in consumer goods or in life decisions. These results provide empirical support for a central tenet of maximizing theory and suggest useful directions for future research.
Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)
- 502019 Marketing
- 501006 Experimental psychology
- 501021 Social psychology