Decision Quicksand: When Trivial Sucks Us In

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.


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.


Aner Sela, University of Florida, USA
Jonah Berger, University of Pennsylvania, USA


NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 38 | 2011

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