The price of a piece of cheese: Value from fit between epistemic needs and a learning versus outcome focus

I.M. McNeill, E.T. Higgings, C.K.W. De Dreu, B.A. Nijstad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In decision making, people can focus on decisional outcomes (outcome focus), but they can also focus on gaining knowledge about the decisional domain (learning focus). Furthermore, people differ in the strength of their epistemic needstheir preference for developing a rich and accurate understanding of the world. We invoke the regulatory fit theory to predict that higher epistemic needs better fit a learning focus than lower epistemic needs, resulting in a greater increase in valuation of the chosen option when a learning rather than an outcome focus is induced. This general hypothesis was tested and supported in three studies, each focusing on a different proxy to epistemic needs. Thus, individuals experienced greater value when they had lower expertise (Study 1), higher need for assessment (Study 2), and higher need for cognition (Study 3) when a learning rather than an outcome focus was induced. Implications for work on epistemic needs, regulatory fit theory, and decision-making practice are discussed. Copyright (C) 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-327
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Behavioral Decision Making
Volume25
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul-2012

Keywords

  • decision making
  • epistemic needs
  • regulatory fit
  • learning focus
  • expertise
  • assessment
  • need for cognition
  • DECISION-MAKING
  • REGULATORY FIT
  • COGNITIVE MOTIVATION
  • INFORMATION
  • CHOICE
  • SELF
  • NEGOTIATION
  • LOCOMOTION
  • QUALITY
  • SATISFACTION

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