Elastic Justification: How Tempting But Task-Irrelevant Factors Influence Decisions
Organizational Behavioral and Human Decision Process, Vol. 62, No. 3, 1995
8 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 2006
This research is concerned with task-oriented decision situations where the decision maker faces two options, one superior on a factor directly related to the given task(called the A factor) and the other superior on a factor not central to the accomplishment of the task but tempting to the decision maker(called the B factor). According to the classic justification notion, the decision maker may find it unjustifiable to choose the B-superior option over the A-superior option if there is no uncertainty in the A values of the two options, but will construct a justification and become more likely to choose the B-superior option if there is uncertainty. In support of this proposition, two experiments employing a simulated decision situation found that subjects were indeed more likely to choose the B-superior option when there was uncertainty in the A factor than when there was not, no matter whether the uncertainty resided in one of the options(Experiment 1) or in both options (Experiment 2).
Keywords: elastic justification, affect, ambiguity
JEL Classification: D81, D11, D12, D91
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation