The Preference for Moderation Scale
78 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2020
Date Written: July 1, 2020
We propose that individual differences in the value placed on the principle of moderation exist and influence many aspects of consumer decision-making. The idea that moderation is an important guiding norm of human behavior is prevalent throughout history and an explicit theme in many philosophies, religions, and cultures. Yet, moderation has not been studied as an individual-level determinant of consumer behavior. We develop a scale that measures the degree to which individuals have a Preference for Moderation (PFM). The PFM scale predicts consequential behavior in many decision contexts. We first report on scale development, including the generation and selection of items. We then report analyses that show PFM is distinct from several popular individual-difference variables. Related to cultural background, PFM reliably predicts the use of compromise (Study 1) and balancing (vs. highlighting) strategies (Study 2), as well as various decision-making behaviors, including reliance on the representativeness heuristic (Study 3), self-reported financial habits and outcomes (Studies 4-5), real-world online reviewing behavior (Study 6), and split-ticket voting behavior in the 2018 U.S. midterm elections (Study 7).
Keywords: moderation, choice, individual difference scale
JEL Classification: D01, D03, M31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation