Wednesday, May 30

Extremeness Avoidance and Extremeness Seeking

Decision researchers have long been interested in behaviors that deviate from rational choice.

Indeed, I have seen it in my mediations on numerous occasions. Especially where the proposer has been wise enough to put forward Multiple Equivalent Simultaneous Offers... I often wonder why a party chose option A over option B.

Of these behaviors, the compromise effect has received a lot of attention, with it being shown that the probability of choosing an outcome increases when that outcome is a middling, as opposed to extreme.

This is called extremeness avoidance.

But in recent Harvard research just out yesterday, extremeness avoidance may not be as popular as was first thought.

The 40 page academic study looks at extremeness seeking and contrasts it with extremeness avoidance, and explores its underlying cause. This may help mediators understand party choices at the table.

Download the .pdf research article here

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