The Majority Rule in Individual Decision Making
10 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 2006
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: Suggested Citation