Decision Quicksand: When Trivial Sucks Us In

Aner Sela, University of Florida, USA
Jonah Berger, University of Pennsylvania, USA
We demonstrate how metacognitive inference leads people to get stuck in unimportant decisions. People associate important decisions with effort. Consequently, unexpected effort serves as a cue for decision importance which, in turn, increases effort in a vicious cycle of “Decision Quicksand”. Paradoxically, this happens only for unimportant decisions, because effort is expected for important decisions.
[ to cite ]:
Aner Sela and Jonah Berger (2011) ,"Decision Quicksand: When Trivial Sucks Us In", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 38, eds. Darren W. Dahl, Gita V. Johar, and Stijn M.J. van Osselaer, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research.