Departures from optimality when pursuing multiple approach or avoidance goals

T. Ballard, Gillian Yeo, A. Neal, Simon Farrell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

© 2016 American Psychological Association.This article examines how people depart from optimality during multiple-goal pursuit. The authors operationalized optimality using dynamic programming, which is a mathematical model used to calculate expected value in multistage decisions. Drawing on prospect theory, they predicted that people are risk-averse when pursuing approach goals and are therefore more likely to prioritize the goal in the best position than the dynamic programming model suggests is optimal. The authors predicted that people are risk-seeking when pursuing avoidance goals and are therefore more likely to prioritize the goal in the worst position than is optimal. These predictions were supported by results from an experimental paradigm in which participants made a series of prioritization decisions while pursuing either 2 approach or 2 avoidance goals. This research demonstrates the usefulness of using decision-making theories and normative models to understand multiple-goal pursuit.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1056-1066
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
Volume101
Issue number7
Early online date1 Mar 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Departures from optimality when pursuing multiple approach or avoidance goals'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this