Satisficing

This morning I heard something on the radio about people being satisficers and it got my attention. I had never heard that term used and they were explaining how people’s decision making methods made then satisficers.

The word is a combination of satisfy and suffice. Basically people that make decisions as soon as all of their criteria are met without looking for any other alternatives are satisficers. Even if there might be better options out there, they are content with their decision and move forward with the decision.

When I first heard the story on the podcast I was listening to, I immediately came to the conclusion that I am in fact a satisficer. If I find something that meets my needs, I see no point in continuing to look further into it. The way it was described on the podcast, it sounded like a bad thing, but is it?

The opposite of a satisficer is a maximizer. Those are people that are not content until they have exhausted all possibilities before making a final decision, and even then they continue to question whether it was the right one or not. Definitely not me.

Just read a post from a blog, The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin, talking about this same thing. I was glad to read that she felt guilty about making satisficing decisions as well until she read a book, The Paradox Of Choice, by Barry Schwartz where he contends that satisficers are usually much happier than maximizers because they expend a lot less energy in making decisions as well as not stressing over the final outcome.

It seems to me that satisficers are probably going to spend more money on some decisions as opposed to maximizers, but they will have saved a lot of time. And we all know that Time Is Money!

Anyway, I had never heard that term before this morning, even though it has been around since 1956 when it was introduced by Herbert A Simon according to wikipedia and it bothered me at first. Was I just being lazy when making decisions? Maybe, maybe not. I am sure that there are times in life that I need to be more of a maximizer before making decisions, and it is something to think about. Being a satisficer is not taking the easy way out though, it is making a decision once all of your predetermined criteria have been met, even if it is the first choice to come along.

When I think of it that way, it’s not so bad

So which one are you? Satisficer or Maximizer

See Ya

Mark

About joatmon14

Man in recovery from everything, looking for a little help, inspiration and direction.... Have spent the last 25 years working in big business, getting lost in all the chaos, not feeling like what I did mattered. By no means am I a professional writer nor do I even think I am that good, but it is something I love to do. Getting lost in a world of words, even for just a little while is why I started my blogs. In reality, at the age of 49 I am trying to find my voice. To find my passion. Maybe starting a little late, but better late than never. I write for me, I enjoy reading other's thoughts very much as well and look forward to the day that I can hold an extended, intelligent, meaningful conversation with YOU View all posts by joatmon14

9 responses to “Satisficing

  • soireadthisbooktoday

    The think that kills me about being a maximizer? “. . . and even then they continue to question whether it was the right one or not.”

    Life is too short. I will spend time and thought on an item, but then when it is done, well, I may twinge a bit later, but it is time to move on. Too many lost opportunities in my life led me to waste so much time on regret, which wound up destroying the life I DID have. Somewhere, in all those bubble universes, I simply hope that another me made the decision I didn’t, and she is better for it. It is all we can expect. This is the Now Me’s time, and I have to learn to embrace it!

    Liked by 1 person

  • Marissa Bergen

    I think it’s important to be a bit of both. You can’t always maximize every situation do you need up be satisfied if you can not. By the way, satisficing ( did I get it right?) is my vocabulary word of the day!

    Like

  • Just Plain Ol' Vic

    I have to say it depends on what I am doing or looking for. When it comes to basics like papertowels, then whatever satisfies my basic needs is fine written me. Things like buying a car, I will research the heck outta it to make sure I maximize my buck!

    Liked by 1 person

  • somewittyhandle

    In some ways it can be less flexible to be a satisficer. If, for example, your criteria turn out to be less realistic than you first thought: say I’m looking for a ski holiday for 7 days, high altitude, glacier, half board, in a resort with mostly black runs, in Italy so I can brush up my Italian, for less than £300. I search on-line and can find nothing that ticks all those boxes, only some partial matches. As a satisficer, I would continue looking indefinitely, frustrated since nothing met my predetermined criteria. The maximiser on the other hand would revise his criteria, and take the best he could get. He gets to go skiing.

    Like

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