Choice Under Conflict: The Dynamics of Deferred Decision

Amos Tversky, Eldar Shafir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

613 Scopus citations


Choice often produces conflict. This notion, however, plays no role in classical decision theory, in which each alternative is assigned a value, and the decision maker selects from every choice set the option with the highest value. We contrast this principle of value maximization with the hypothesis that the option to delay choice or seek new alternatives is more likely to be selected when conflict is high than when it is low. This hypothesis is supported by several studies showing that the tendency to defer decision, search for new alternatives, or choose the default option can be increased when the offered set is enlarged or improved, contrary to the principle of value maximization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)358-361
Number of pages4
JournalPsychological Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1992

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Psychology


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