Date of Award




Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Department of Psychology


Industrial/Organizational Psychology

Content Description

1 online resource (ii, 23 pages) : illustrations.

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Dev K Dalal

Committee Members

Kevin J Williams


curvilinearity, Decision-making, industrial-organizational, maximization, maximizing tendency, psychology, Decision making, Multiple criteria decision making, Optimism, Regret

Subject Categories



Maximizing tendency is a decision making style in which an individual keeps a high standard for decisions. Research has shown conflicting results regarding the nature of maximizing tendency and various subjective outcomes. Extant research has shown maximizing tendency to be linearly related, both negatively and positively, to depression, optimism, life satisfaction and decision regret. Although measurement issues have been routinely blamed for the inconsistencies in these findings, this study posits that maximizing tendency is curvilinearly related to the subjective outcomes of decision regret, optimism, and life satisfaction, based on the Too Much of a Good Thing effect. It was hypothesized that low level and extreme level maximizers will obtain outcomes less desirable than moderate level maximizers. Whereas too little maximizing results in poor objective outcomes leading to worse subjective outcomes, extreme levels of maximizing results in negative rumination about one’s decisions which leads to worse subjective outcomes. Hypotheses were partially supported, as evidence provided support for the notion of curvilinearity between maximizing tendency and the outcomes of optimism, decision regret and life satisfaction. Low and high level maximizers experienced a reduction in the subjective outcomes of life satisfaction and optimism. The inverse of the hypothesized relationship between maximizing tendency and decision regret was found, such that moderate maximizers reported the highest levels of decision regret.

Included in

Psychology Commons