How much information to sample before making a decision? It's a matter of psychological distance

Vered Halamish, Nira Liberman

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    11 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    When facing a decision, people look for relevant information to guide their choice. But how much information do they seek to obtain? Based on Construal Level Theory, we predicted that psychological distance from a decision would make participants seek more information prior to making a decision. Five experiments supported this prediction. When facing a decision between two decks of cards or two urns with marbles, participants preferred to sample more units of information for the purpose of making this decision in the distant future or for a friend (vs. in the near future or for themselves). These results suggest that expanding the scope of sampled experience is yet another way by which psychological distance affects decision making.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)111-116
    Number of pages6
    JournalJournal of Experimental Social Psychology
    Volume71
    Early online date25 Mar 2017
    DOIs
    StatePublished - 1 Jul 2017

    Bibliographical note

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2017 Elsevier Inc.

    Keywords

    • Construal Level Theory
    • Decision making
    • Learning from experience
    • Psychological distance
    • Sampling

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