Skip to main content
Dryad logo

Data from: Delegating decisions: recruiting others to make choices we might regret

Citation

Steffel, Mary; Williams, Elanor F. (2018), Data from: Delegating decisions: recruiting others to make choices we might regret, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.4n7dv

Abstract

Consumers typically prefer freedom of choice, but when faced with a choice they might regret, they may prefer freedom from choice. Eight experiments show that people delegate difficult decisions, regardless of the decision’s importance, and regardless of their potential surrogate’s expertise. Delegation stems from a desire to avoid responsibility for potentially making the wrong choice rather than simply the desire to avoid the possibility of a poor outcome: although anticipated disappointment with the outcome and anticipated regret about one’s decision both contribute to the decision to delegate, only anticipated regret directly leads people to delegate choices to others. Consequently, delegation is an appealing method for coping with difficult choices while allowing consumers to retain the benefits of choosing that they would forgo by opting out of the choice. Moreover, giving people the option to delegate makes them less prone to walk away from difficult choices empty-handed.

Usage Notes