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The current study examines the construct validity of the Maximization Scale (MS; Schwartz et al., 2002) and the Maximization Tendency Scale (MTS; Diab et al., 2008) as well as the nomological net of the maximizing construct. We find that both scales of maximizing suffer psychometrically, especially in their proposed dimensionality. Using confirmatory factor analysis and item response theory (IRT) we identify and remove three problematic items from the MTS and six problematic items from the MS. Additionally, we find that the MS appears to be measuring difficulty and restlessness with the search for the best alternative, whereas the MTS is more focused on the search for the best option, regardless of choice difficulty. We then examined these revised scales in relation to other psychological constructs in the nomological net for maximizing and found that maximizers may not be unhappy but are generally distressed in the decision-making context. Finally, we suggest that future maximizng research use revised form of the MTS that seems to us to be most consistent with the original concept of maximizing/satisficing.

Original Citation

Weinhardt, J. M., Morse, B. J., Chimeli, J., & Fisher, J. (2012). An item response theory and factor analytic examination of two prominent maximizing tendency scales. Judgment & Decision Making, 7(5), 644-658.

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