Journal of Behavioral Decision Making

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How a maximizing orientation affects trade‐offs between desirability and feasibility: The role of outcome‐ versus process‐focused decision making

Abstract This research examines how maximizers make decisions when they must trade‐off between desirability and feasibility attributes. Across four studies, we demonstrate that maximizers tend to prefer choices offering more desirability to those offering more feasibility and respond more favorably to a product's advertising when it highlights desirability more than feasibility attributes. Furthermore, we show that maximizers' focus on outcomes rather than processes drives their preference for desirability, such that changing from an outcome to a process focus can redirect their interest from desirability to feasibility. By contrast, satisficers do not prefer products higher in desirability to those higher in feasibility and are not more receptive to ads highlighting desirability attributes. Furthermore, because satisficers may focus on both the outcome and the process, priming either one is redundant and does not alter their preference for desirability or feasibility.

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