8 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 2006
When making judgments, one may encounter not only justifiable factors, i.e., attributes which the judge thinks that he/she should take into consideration, but also unjustifiable factors, i.e, attributes which the judge wants to take into consideration but knows he/she should not. It is proposed that the influence of an unjustifiable fact on one's judgment depends on the presence of elasticity (ambiguity) in justifiable factors; the influence will be greater if there is elasticity than if there is not. Two studies involving different contexts demonstrated the proposed elasticity effect and suggested that the effect could be a result of a self-oriented justification process. Implications of this research for decisions involving a should-vs-want conflict are dicussed.
Keywords: elastic justification, affect, ambiguity
JEL Classification: D81, D11, D12, D91
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Hsee, Christopher K., Elastic Justification: How Unjustifiable Factors Influence Judgments. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Vol. 66, No. 1, 1996. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=930101