Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

More Is Not Always Better

Date:
November 10, 2005
Source:
Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Summary:
One might assume that the more there is of a desired item the more favorable evaluation that item receives. For example, ice cream lovers would always be willing to pay more for more ice cream. An article published in the latest issue of Current Directions in Psychological Science suggests that this is not always so.

One might assume that the more there is of a desired item the more favorable evaluation that item receives. For example, ice cream lovers would always be willing to pay more for more ice cream. An article published in the latest issue of Current Directions in Psychological Science suggests that this is not always so.

Imagine two servings of ice cream, one featuring a five-ounce cup overfilled with seven ounces, the other a ten-ounce cup filled with only eight ounces. Objectively the under-filled serving is better, because it contains more. But a study conducted by Christopher Hsee found that unless these two servings are presented side by side, the seven-ounce serving is actually considered more valuable. Apparently, people do not base their judgment on the amount of ice cream available, which is difficult to evaluate in isolation. Instead, they rely on an easy-to-evaluate cue: whether the serving is overfilled or under-filled. Overfilling evokes positive feelings while under-filling evokes negative feelings, and these feelings dictate people's evaluations. "Consequently, in decision making, more often seems better, yet in life, more is often not better," the authors conclude.

When the wanted item cannot be compared to another object or the evaluation depends on feelings, people become magnitude insensitive. This occurs in what the authors call single-evaluation mode-- where only one stimulus is presented and it is evaluated in isolation. Basically, when we don't know what we are missing, we are happy with our decisions.

###

The article published in the latest issue of Current Directions in Psychological Science offers a theory about when people are sensitive to magnitude and when they are not and uses the theory to discuss the ice-cream finding as well as other related findings.

Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal of the American Psychological Society, presents the latest advances in theory and research in psychology. This important and timely journal contains concise reviews spanning all of scientific psychology and its applications.

Christopher K. Hsee is a Theodore O. Yntema professor of behavioral sciences and marketing at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. His main research interests include the interplay between psychology and economics, the relationship between choice and consumption experience.

Yuval Rottenstreich is an associate professor of Management at the Fuqua School of Business, Duke University. His research examines individual choice processes and their implications for organizational and consumer behavior.

The American Psychological Society represents psychologists advocating science-based research in the public's interest. For more information, please visit www.psychologicalscience.org

Blackwell Publishing is the world's leading society publisher, partnering with more than 600 academic and professional societies. Blackwell publishes over 750 journals annually and, to date, has published close to 6,000 text and reference books, across a wide range of academic, medical, and professional subjects.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Blackwell Publishing Ltd.. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Blackwell Publishing Ltd.. "More Is Not Always Better." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 November 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/11/051110090221.htm>.
Blackwell Publishing Ltd.. (2005, November 10). More Is Not Always Better. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/11/051110090221.htm
Blackwell Publishing Ltd.. "More Is Not Always Better." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/11/051110090221.htm (accessed August 21, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) — A new study found couples who had at least 150 guests at their weddings were more likely to report being happy in their marriages. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) — Nine years after Hurricane Katrina, charter schools are the new reality of public education in New Orleans. The state of Louisiana took over most of the city's public schools after the killer storm in 2005. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) — Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Kids' Drawings At Age 4 Linked To Intelligence At Age 14

Kids' Drawings At Age 4 Linked To Intelligence At Age 14

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) — A study by King's College London says there's a link between how well kids draw at age 4 and how intelligent they are later in life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins