Damned if you do, damned if you don't




Focalism in evaluations of decisions Consumers are commonly called upon to evaluate the quality of decisions--be it their own or someone else’s. Logically, that quality is a function not only of the chosen alternative but of the rejected alternative as well. The research presented here, however, suggests that when people evaluate the quality of a decision they focus on the attractiveness of the chosen alternative more than on the attractiveness of the rejected alternative(s) (even when they are known). As a result, decisions tend to be deemed wise when the chosen alternative is attractive and foolish when it is unattractive--occasionally even when the rejected alternatives(s) are just as attractive or unattractive.

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Dr. S. Puntoni