Decision time as information in judgment and choice

Philippe P.F.M. van de Calseyde, Gideon Keren, Marcel Zeelenberg

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


People often observe others' decisions and the corresponding time it took them to reach the decision. Following a signaling perspective, we demonstrate that people derive information from the time that others needed in reaching a decision. Specifically, the findings of multiple experiments and a field study using data from the television show The Voice reveal that decision times are perceived as indicative of the degree of doubt that the decision maker experienced. In turn, these inferences of doubt reliably affected people's preferences such as with whom to collaborate and negotiate, even when the collaboration would yield a normatively inferior outcome. These results are incompatible with the idea that an alternative will be chosen only on the basis of its outcomes. We portray a model that incorporates others' decision times as a component of the choice process. Implications for how choices are affected by both outcomes and signals are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-122
Number of pages10
JournalOrganizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2014


  • Choice preferences
  • Decision conflict
  • Decision time
  • Doubt
  • Signals


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