Reasonable Reasons for Waiting

Orit E. Tykocinski, Bradley J. Ruffle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Recent decision-making research claims to establish that, in violation of Savage's normative sure-thing principle, individuals often wait to acquire noninstrumental information and subsequently base their decisions upon this information. The current research suggests that characterizing individuals as pursuing noninstrumental or useless information may be overstated. Through a series of experiments we establish, first, that many people choose to wait, even when waiting provides no additional information at all. Second, the longer people are allowed to wait before having to decide, the more people prefer to wait rather than decide immediately. Third, those individuals who choose to wait are the ones less confident about committing themselves to a decision. For them, the benefit from waiting may be especially valuable by allowing them to come to terms with a less-than-ideal decision.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-157
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Behavioral Decision Making
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2003


  • Information search
  • Procrastination
  • Sure-thing principle
  • Waiting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Decision Sciences
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Strategy and Management


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