Drawing out the Satisficer from the Maximizer - PDF Document

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  1. Munich Personal RePEc Archive Drawing out the Satisficer from the Maximizer Beja, Edsel Jr. Ateneo de Manila University 10 June 2012 Online at https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/39355/ MPRA Paper No. 39355, posted 10 Jun 2012 03:10 UTC

  2. ?????????????????????????????????????????????? EDSEL L. BEJA JR.∗ ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? ?????????? ????????? How a full glass is sketched by a person is used as an identification of a maximizer/satisficer-type personality. There is evidence that students who interpret the “full glass” description as, in fact, a glass that is filled up to the brim is the maximizer-types and those who draw their glass just filled below the brim as the satisficer-types. Analysis of self-reported subjective well-being indicates that the satisficer-types enjoy higher school domain satisfaction than the maximizer-types. ????????? Drawing, maximizer, satisficer, subjective well-being, satisfaction ?????? !????? The maximizing person seeks to find the very best while the satisficing person accepts what is good enough (Schwartz et al. 2002; Iyengar et al 2006; Parker et al. 2007; Diab et al. 2008; Polman 2010; Jain et al. 2012). Relative to the satisficers, the maximizers are easily disappointed with their own outcomes or decisions, which are often manifested as self-reports of lower levels of happiness, satisfaction, or optimism. ∗ Tel.: +63-2-4265661; fax: +63-2-4265661? ???!????" edsel.beja@gmail.com

  3. Here, a drawing exercise analogous to that in Tuckey (1992) and Matthews (1996) is usedto “draw out” the satisficer from the maximizer from a group of students. This indirect method of matching the drawing itself to the maximizer or satisficer predisposition is based on the theory that the obtained material reflects or projects the underlying personality or, at the least, an aspect of the personality (Sundberg 1977).Few problems or complications can be expected from the person to follow the drawing instruction if the exercise isdesignedinastraightforwardmanner. The exercise itself can be made easy enough to perform so there is no hesitation with regard to drawingskills or insecurity with regard to a judgment on the quality of the drawing. Thus, the act of drawing under such circumstances can bypass the conscious defenses in the personandtaps into theinner self to reveal anaspectof personality that is relevant for analysis. For the present study, participants were asked to draw their interpretation of a “full glass” that corresponds to a marker on “10” or “100%” on a scale from 0 to 10. The hypothesis is as follows: drawing a glass thatis filled to thebrim indicates amaximizer-type personality,whiledrawing aglass that is filled below the brim indicates a satisficer-type personality. "#??$?%??? ? &??????'????? Participantsweresophomorestudentstaking therequiredcoursein basic economics at a private university. None of the participants declared economics as a major. Participation in the study was voluntary. Noextra creditwasofferedto the students. Of the 421 students who answered the questionnaire, 64 did not answer or did not give a valid answer to a scale-identification question (see below). Useful data are from 357 students (approx. 18% of the total sophomore population in private university), comprising of 184 males (mean=

  4. 18.8,SD=1.0,range=17-22 years)and173females(mean=18.4years,SD=0.8,range = 17-20 years). &????????? The questionnaire was administered at the start of the class. Students were not informed in the previous lecture days about the planned study in order to remove anticipation and other similar processes that might influence their responses. Thequestionnaire had two parts. After completing Part 1, the students had to go to the front table or to the back table in the classroom to hand to the proctor their completed questionnaire and to get Part 2. Aside from the demographic queries, Part 1containedascale identificationquestion thataskedthestudentstoprovidetheomitted informationon the diagram itself. # ??????????? ??$???% ??&??? ??????????????? ????? ????????????????? ??????????? ?? ???????'??(?????'???)(????? ???????*?#?????? ????????????? ??????????????+? ├───┼───┼───┼───┼───┼───┼───┼───┼───┼───┤ 100% 10 “Value” rather than a more explicit expression like “numerical value” was used as a preliminary exercise for Part 2. Subsequently, students answered a query phrased as a life domain satisfaction. ?????????? ???????????????$???,?&???-+?????????????????????????????.????????? ????????????????,???????-??????????????????+?# ???????? ????????,?&???/-???% ?? ?????????????????????????.??????????????????????,/-???????*?#?????????????0??? ???? ??????????????+? ? Part 2 of the questionnaire started with the following diagram:

  5. 0% 50% 100% ├───┼───┼───┼───┼───┼───┼───┼───┼───┼───┤ 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Then, students were asked to draw with the following instructions: ? ???0? ?? %????? ??????? 0?? ? 0????? ? ???? ???? ? ??$?? ??% ?? ??????????? ? ?? ?????????? ??????????&??? ??????0????? ????????,?&???-+????0????? ????????????????+?? ? ? The labels “5” and “50%” on the scale serve as reference for a 50% full glass (or, 50% empty). Obviously, “0” or “0%” means an empty glass, while “10” or “10%” means a full glass. In effect, the mid-point labels produces a cognitive process such that a 50% empty glass is 50% empty regardless of the size of the glass, the location of the glass, the time of day when the person looked at the glass, etc. and, thus, the “full glass” ought to be double the 50%. Some drawings of the participants are produced in Figure 1 with the so-called satisficer-type drawings shown on the top row and the so-called maximizer-type drawings shown on the bottom row. (??????)? ??????1 ???$??? ????????????????????????????????2????0??%?+? ? ?

  6. ?$? *??? Gender is not correlated with the drawing of the maximizer (i.e., glass filled up to the brim) and that of satisficer(i.e.,glassfilled below thebrim), r = -0.02, p = ns. The same conclusion for age, r = -0.04, p = ns. Moreover, gender (r = 0.03, p = ns; t(1) = 0.502, p = n.s.) and age (r = 00, p = ns; t(6) = 0.987, p = n.s.) arealso not correlated with school domain satisfaction. What appears strongly from the analysis is that, relative to the maximizer-type, the purported drawing of a satisficer-type is positivelycorrelated withschool domainsatisfaction,r= 0.13, p < 0.014. In fact, school domain satisfaction varies between the satisficer-type (M = 7.42, SD = 1.298) and the maximizer-type (M = 6.98, SD = 1.515), albeit a larger sample size might be desirable for an even more robust conclusion, t(1) = 2.471, p < 0.014, d = 0.2985. Regression confirms the initial findings (βsatisficer = 0.443, p < 0.01), albeit the age, gender, and drawing together explain little of the total variation in school domain satisfaction (R2 = 0.02, F(3, 355) = 2.518, p < 0.058). Still, it can be argued that the evidence here confirms the findings in the extant literature. !??!* ????? Drawingwas a useful technique fortheidentificationof themaximizer-type and satisficer-type personalities and analysis self-reported subjective well-being. Of course, there are issues with the drawing exercise itself because rarely in real life do people actually fill glasses up to the very top yet they still count as full. Still, the fact that some students drew their full glasses as filled up to the brim despite the social norm or practice of not filling up to the brim suggests that the drawing indicate something beyond an idiosyncratic response to the drawing instruction but more about an underlying predisposition or projection of an aspect of the personality. Thus, the students who interpreted the “full glass” description as a glass that is filled up to the brim was identified as the maximizer-types and those who drew their glass just filled below the brim as the satisficer-types.

  7. Interestingly, this identification was also found to correlate with the student’s self-reported school domain satisfaction. Notwithstanding the preliminary nature of this study, there are practical applications to knowing who might be a maximizer or satisficer.From Kasser and Ryan (1996) along with Oishi et al. (2007) and Grant and Schwartz (2011), it may be argued that some life domains may call for the satisficing-type because theyemphasizetheso-called “extrinsic goals” likegrades, money, and social status. In other life domains, however, the maximizing-type personality is more important because they stress the so-called “intrinsic goals” like relationships and other-regarding behavior. Thus, at the level of the individual in general, thefact thatmaximizingbehavioris not necessarily a good course of action suggests that satisficing behavior can turn out to bethebetter strategy. In the context of students and the university, there is perhaps a need to rethink what the school philosophy of excellence means and how it can be achieved without compromising the well-being of students. Finally, in the broader context of the society, the maximizer/satisficer duality poses a serious challenge to a rethinking of public policy.In particular,howcan democratic participation towardsraising social welfare be sensibleor evensustainable whenthedefaultposition, if not the taught position, is to maximize? ?$($?$?!$?? Diab, D., Gillespie, M. and Highhouse, S. (2008). Are maximizers really happy? The measurement of maximizing tendency. 3??%??????????????????4??????, 3, 364-370 Grant, A. and Schwartz, B. (2011). Too much of a good thing: The challenge and opportunity of the inverted U. ???????????????????? ???%?????4??????, 6, 61-76

  8. Iyengar, S., Wells, R., and Schwartz, B. (2006). Doing better but feeling worse: Looking for the “best” job undermines satisfaction. ???? ???%?????4??????, 17(2), 143-150 Jain, K., Dearden, N., and Filipowicz, A. (2012). Do maximizers predict better than satisficers? 3??????????5? ???????????????????$??%, forthcoming Kasser, T. and Ryan, R. (1996). Further examining the American dream: Differential correlates of intrinsic and extrinsic goals, ????????????????4?????????? ???%??5???????, 22, 280-287 Matthews, B. (1996). Drawing scientists, 6??????7??????????, 8, 231-243 Parker, A., de Bruin, W., and Fischhoff, B. (2007). Maximizers versus satisficers: Decision- making styles, competence, and outcomes, 3??%????????????????????$??%, 2, 342-350 Oishi, S., Diener, E., and Lucas, R. (2007). The optimal level of well-being: Can people be too happy? ???????????????????? ???%?????4??????, 2, 346-360 Polman, E. (2010). Why are maximizers less happy than satisficers? Because they maximize positive and negative outcomes. 3??????????5? ???????????????????$??%, 23, 179-190 Schwartz, B., Ward, A., Monterosso, J., Lyubomirsky, S., White, K., and Lehman, D. (2002). Maximizing versus satisficing: Happiness is a matter of choice. 3??????????????????????????4?????? ???? ???%?, 83, 1178-1197 Sundberg, N. (1977). ?????????????????????, Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall Tuckey, C. (1999). Who is a scientist? Children’s drawings reveal all, ??????????8!?8, 20, 30-32