Are maximizers less satisfied with their choices than satisficers? This research provides a novel perspective on this question by distinguishing between two types of consumer goals: autotelic, when choice is a goal in itself, and instrumental, when a choice is a means to achieving other goals. Study 1 showed that maximizers value autotelic experiences more than satisficers. Study 2 experimentally manipulated the choice goal and found that maximizers compared to satisficers experience higher choice satisfaction when the choice goal is autotelic rather than instrumental. Additionally, evidence is provided for the underlying mechanism (perceived ease of choice) as well as downstream consequences (consumers’ willingness to pay for their chosen option). These findings advance a conceptualization of maximizers as consumers seeking self-contained meaning in choice and provide new insights into the relation between maximizing and choice satisfaction. Theoretical and practical implications for consumer decision-making are discussed.
- Choice satisfaction
- Consumer decision-making