Maximisers vs Satisficers

There are two main types of decision-makers:

  • Maximisers: They want to ensure they get the most out of their choices.
  • Satisficers: They tend to adopt a 'good enough' approach.

Each one has its benefits and drawbacks. Understanding which one you are can help improve your choices.

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Do 'maximisers' or 'satisficers' make better decisions?

bbc.com

A maximiser will weigh choices carefully to find the best one. On paper, their decisions look well-informed, logical and efficient.

But there are drawbacks. They have trouble making the perfect decision and take a very long time finding the best solution. Once they do find a solution, they may experience regret about their choice.

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Satisficers are people who prefer to make decisions quickly by weighing fewer choices and then go with their gut. They opt for what's acceptable, not for the 'best' option.

A drawback is that they may not get the 'best' outcome that will give them the maximum return.

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Most people fall somewhere between maximiser and satisficer. The perfect mix would be to satisfice most of the time and only maximise a decision when the stakes are high, such as buying a house or choosing a job.

However, after the choice, you have to return to thinking like a satisfice to prevent feeling dissatisfied with your decision.

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  • Satisficers: People who are too impulsive should avoid hasty decisions. They should spend more time thinking about the decision and the pros and cons of each possible outcome.
  • Maximisers: If you find yourself maximising too much, try to limit some of your options.

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