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What Type of Maximizer Are You? Uncovering Latent Profiles of Maximizing




Willits, Taylor

Type of Degree

PhD Dissertation


Psychological Sciences


Maximizing, originally defined as the tendency to seek the best decision through alternative search and decision difficulty, has undergone significant revision since the construct was introduced nearly two decades ago. However, the narrow focus on scale development and the proliferation of 15 new maximizing scales have resulted in major inconsistencies in how the construct is conceptualized, measured, and linked to correlates and outcomes. Although an overarching goal and strategy model of maximizing has been proposed to help clarify what is maximizing, there remains several issues to be addressed in order to further validate both the model and the maximizing experience. The present study utilized latent profile analysis to enable a more nuanced investigation into the facets of maximizing and how certain configurations of responses on these facets may create unique profiles of maximization (i.e., types of maximizers and satisficers). Results uncovered the presence of two types of maximizers who have distinctive experiences with Decision Difficulty: Distressed Maximizers who experience high difficulty making decisions and Decisive Maximizers who do not. Furthermore, Decisive Maximizers were associated with more adaptive personality traits and well-being experience. These results indicate that Decision Difficulty should be kept as an emotional dimension in the measurement of study of maximizing. Extending beyond variable-centric approaches and using the person-centric approach of latent profile analysis to study Goal (High Standards), Strategy (Alternative Search), and Emotion (Decision Difficulty) model of maximizing will allow us to answer the question: Who are maximizers?