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