Are you a maximizer or satisficer?

Interesting piece from the WSJ

Psychology researchers have studied how people make decisions and concluded there are two basic styles.

“Maximizers” like to take their time and weigh a wide range of options—sometimes every possible one—before choosing.

“Satisficers” would rather be fast than thorough; they prefer to quickly choose the option that fills the minimum criteria (the word “satisfice” blends “satisfy” and “suffice”).

“Maximizers are people who want the very best.

Satisficers are people who want good enough,”


Take the quick test below to see if you’re a maximizer or satisficer…. and see what the implications are.. 

Test: Are you a maximizer or satisficer?

click to enlarge



The results:

Satisficers are generally happier than maximizers,.

Maximizers tend to be more depressed and to report a lower satisfaction with life.


“The maximizer is kicking himself because he can’t examine every option”

Some stone may have been left unturned.

Maximizers make good – sometimes great — decisions but end up feeling bad about them.

Satisficers also make good decisions and they end up feeling good about them.

Some people go both ways:  maximizeing on  some decisions and satisficing on on others.

And, older people?

Well, the older you are, the less likely you are to be a maximizer — which helps explain why studies show people get happier as they get older.

“One of the things that life teaches you is that ‘good enough’ is almost always good enough.

You learn that you can get satisfaction out of perfectly wonderful but not perfect outcomes.”


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