Academic journal article Studia Psychologica

Regulatory Focus and Self-Construal as Determinants of the Majority Rule in Individual Decision Making

Academic journal article Studia Psychologica

Regulatory Focus and Self-Construal as Determinants of the Majority Rule in Individual Decision Making

Article excerpt

Introduction

Zhang, Hsee, and Xiao (2006) (see also Birnbaum & Diecidue, 2015) examined a behavioral decision heuristic named the majority rule for choice between binary, weak-dominant multiattribute options in individual decision making. The majority rule posits that individuals prefer to choose the majority-weakly-superior option (i.e., slightly more favorable on most of its attributes) rather than the minority-strongly-superior option (i.e., considerably more favorable on few of its attributes; A brief formal description of the majority rule is provided in the Appendix; cf., May, 1952 for the pioneering axiomatic characterization of the majority rule). This preference could have stemmed from a deepseated belief that a congruent decision is more effective at receiving accurate information than an individual's effort (e.g., Hastie & Kameda, 2005), or that the majoritarian judgments are, for instance, more democratic and just than the assertive judgments of the minority for satisfying political equality, with most elections of legislative representatives and referendums being decided by this rule (e.g., Nieuwelink, Dekker, Geijsel, & Ten Dam, 2017; Risse, 2004; Saunders, 2008, p. 21).

A growing body of social choice literature has investigated the effect of the majority rule on the outcomes of a group choice process, both theoretically and experimentally. Dasgupta and Maskin (2008) argued that the majority rule is theoretically satisfactory to several appealing conditions over a larger cluster of preferences than any other voting rule. Hastie and Kameda (2005) proposed that the majority rule is popularly adopted among other eight truthseeking group decision rules, faring much better than the individual judgment averaging rule. Kimura and Katayama (2013) indicated, through a neurocognitive mechanism study, that the majority rule modulates the evaluative processing of monetary losses and the evaluation of conflicts among individual opinions in a threeparticipant group. The majority rule is also examined as a pivotal moderating factor, which influences the relationship between intra-team process conflict and cognitive diversity, namely rational and spontaneous styles (Fitzgerald, Mohammed, & Kremer, 2017), and between social diversity and the efficacy of group decision making (McGrimmon, 2011). Compared with another commonly used group decision method of social choice, the unanimity rule (rule by consensus), the majority rule shows an advantage in arriving at a quicker decision (Taylor, Hewitt, Reeves, Hobbs, & Lawless, 2013), indicates a better performance accuracy (Sorkin, West, & Robinson, 1998), counteracts the negative effects of egoistic motivation on joint outcomes in asymmetrical negotiations (Beersma & De Dreu, 2002), results in different decisions when group members are informed of one another's preference for the options (Miller, 1985), leads to weaker communication effects (Baillon, Bleichrodt, Liu, & Wakker, 2016), and achieves less decision implementation and outcome satisfaction (Marsden & Mathiyalakan, 2003; Mohammed & Ringseis, 2001). Overall, previous work from a scattering of empirical and anecdotal sources provided credible evidence in support of the majority rule as a pervasively robust norm in group judgment and decision making.

While many studies have focused on the merits of the application of the majority rule in group decisions, only a handful of studies have examined its implications in individual decision making. For example, Russo and Dosher (1983) provided direct evidence supporting the use of the majority rule against the minority or neutral rule. May (1954) and Paterson and Diekmann (1988 found that their respondents might have used the majority rule but also violated transitivity axiom (i.e., ifX ^ Y and Y ^ Z, thenX^ Z) and the expected utility theory. However, Birnbaum and Diecidue (2015) argued against Zhang et al.'s (2006) proposition of the majority rule as a description of how individuals make a choice in that the majority of their participants not only dissatisfied the majority rule, but also simultaneously violated risk aversion and the transitivity and dominance axioms. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.