発表

1B-006

Why People Don ´t Choose a Superior Option? : Mutability of Outcomes and Sudden-Death Aversion(SDA)

[Main Author] Yeongji Kim:1
[連名発表者・登壇者] Jaehwi Kim:1
1:Psychology department of Chung-Ang University

Introduction
If you are a coach of a basketball team losing by 2-points with a few seconds left, will you try to make a 3-point shot, which can bring the win but if unsuccessful will result in a loss? Or will you choose to make a 2-point shot to force overtime? If a winning chance to of a 2-point shot trial is lower than that of a 3-point shot trial, to try to make a 3-point shot is rational. However, most people choose to make a 2-point shot to force overtime. This is a bias which is called sudden-death aversion(SDA), the tendency to avoid fast option(3-point shot) which provide a greater chance of success but include the possibility of immediate defeat, in favor of slow option(2-point shot) that reduce the possibility of losing quickly, but have lower odds of ultimate success(Walker, Risen, Gilovich, and Thaler, 2018). The Previous study showed that SDA occurs because people perceive the possibility of loss of fast option higher. But, even when they knew fast option was objectively superior, half of them still avoided fast option(Walker et al., 2018). It suggests that cognitive illusion about probability isn ´t the only reason of SDA. In this regard, the current study examined emotional aspects of a decision maker, as another psychological mechanism of SDA. Generally, when choosing an option, people think how much they will regret choosing one option and not choosing alternative option, and they make decision toward minimizing this anticipated regret(Cooke, Meyvis, and Schwartz, 2001). The anticipated regret increases as the mutability of outcome of the option-degree of how easy to imagine a negative outcome of the option and therefore to come up with alternative option ´s positive outcome- increases(Miller and Taylor, 1995). The mutability of outcomes increases when decision-making and occurrence of outcomes are closer in temporal aspect(Miller and Taylor, 1995). Thus, imagining a negative outcome of fast option should be easier compared to the case of slow option, and the anticipated regret for choosing fast option may be relatively greater. This may lead people to SDA. We examined this prediction by manipulating the mutability of outcomes of the two options.

Method
We used SDA scenario of Walker and colleagues(2018) which is same as the basketball example above. Before conducting the main study, through a pretest, we saw the failure of fast option is imagined more easily than that of the slow option. It means higher mutability of outcomes of fast option. Also, there was a tendency it can affect avoidance of fast option. The main study consists of three conditions(control, high mutability of outcomes of slow option(HS), high mutability of outcomes of fast option(HF)). They read the scenario and chose one between fast option and slow option. Before they made a decision, HS condition imagined a situation they lost in overtime, while HF condition imagined a situation they failed to make 3 point shot.

Results
As a result of a manipulation check, HS condition came up with a negative outcome of slow option significantly more easily compared to the control condition did(t = 3.402, p <.001), but the degree of HF condition easily came up with a negative outcome of fast option was not different from that of the control condition(t = -. 258, p = .797). That is, the manipulation of the HS condition was successful, but of the HF condition was not. Cross table analysis showed that in HS condition, SDA became significantly weaker than control condition(x2= 7.351, p = .012). However, in HF condition, degree of SDA was similar to that of the control condition.

Discussion
This study showed SDA can occur because a negative outcome of fast option is easier to imagine compared to that of slow option. Making people imagine a negative outcome of slow option can interrupt from imagining that of fast option, so that it can reduce SDA. Also, the reason why we failed manipulating HF condition seems that the ceiling effect was occurred as people already think of the failure of fast option. In the future research, we can study whether SDA can be reduced by suppressing imagination of a negative outcome of fast option. In addition, because people think not only negative outcomes of options but also positive outcomes of options, the future research needs to consider this.

References
Cooke, A. D., Meyvis, T., and Schwartz, A. (2001). Avoiding future regret in purchase-timing decisions. Journal of Consumer Research, 27(4), 447-459.
Miller, D. T., and Taylor, B. R. (1995). Counterfactual thought, regret, and superstition: How to avoid kicking yourself. What might have been: The social psychology of counterfactual thinking, 305-331.
Walker, J., Risen, J. L., Gilovich, T., and Thaler, R. (2018). Sudden-death aversion: Avoiding superior options because they feel riskier.Baumeister, R. F., Stillwell, A. M., & Heatherton, T. F. (1994). Guilt: an interpersonal approach. Psychological bulletin, 115(2), 243.

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