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The Majority Rule in Individual Decision Making

10 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 2006  

Jiao Zhang

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business

Christopher K. Hsee

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business

Zhixing Xiao

China Europe International Business School (CEIBS)

Abstract

This research investigates an understudied decision heuristic, the majority rule. By using the rule, decision makers choose the option superior on most of the available cues. Cues are broadly defined, including advisors and attributes. We propose that decision makers are more likely to use the majority rule when encouraged to employ intra-cue comparison as opposed to intra-option integration, and that their choices are influenced by factors that influence which option appears majority superior. We corroborate the two propositions in four studies. In Studies 1 and 2, we explore two factors that moderate use of the majority rule through facilitating intra-cue comparison or intra-option integration - response mode and information display format. In Studies 3 and 4, we explore two factors that influence choice through influencing which option appears majority-superior - cue-unpacking and cue-regrouping.

Keywords: multi-attribute choice, decision heuristics

JEL Classification: D81, D11, D12, D91

Suggested Citation

Zhang, Jiao and Hsee, Christopher K. and Xiao, Zhixing, The Majority Rule in Individual Decision Making. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 2006. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=929927

Jiao Zhang

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Christopher K. Hsee (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Zhixing Xiao

China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) ( email )

Shanghai-Hongfeng Road
Shanghai 201206
Shanghai 201206
China

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