The Negative Consequences of Maximizing in Friendship Selection

David B. Newman , Joanna Schug, , Masaki Yuki, , Jamada Junko , John Nezlek


Previous studies have shown that the maximizing orientation, reflecting a motivation to select the best option among a given set of choices, is associated with various negative psychological outcomes. In the present studies, we examined whether these relationships extend to friendship selection and how the number of options for friends moderated these effects. Across 5 studies, maximizing in selecting friends was negatively related to life satisfaction, positive affect, and self-esteem, and was positively related to negative affect and regret. In Study 1, a maximizing in selecting friends scale was created, and regret mediated the relationships between maximizing and well-being. In a naturalistic setting in Studies 2a and 2b, the tendency to maximize among those who participated in the fraternity and sorority recruitment process was negatively related to satisfaction with their selection, and positively related to regret and negative affect. In Study 3, daily levels of maximizing were negatively related to daily well-being, and these relationships were mediated by daily regret. In Study 4, we extended the findings to samples from the U.S. and Japan. When participants who tended to maximize were faced with many choices, operationalized as the daily number of friends met (Study 3) and relational mobility (Study 4), the opportunities to regret a decision increased and further diminished well-being. These findings imply that, paradoxically, attempts to maximize when selecting potential friends is detrimental to one’s well-being.
Author David B. Newman
David B. Newman,,
, Joanna Schug,
Joanna Schug,,,
, Masaki Yuki,
Masaki Yuki,,,
, Jamada Junko
Jamada Junko,,
, John Nezlek (Wydział Zamiejscowy w Poznaniu)
John Nezlek,,
- Wydział Zamiejscowy w Poznaniu
Journal seriesJournal of Personality and Social Psychology, ISSN 0022-3514, (A 45 pkt)
Issue year2018
Publication size in sheets40.2
Keywords in Englishchoices, friendship, maximizing, satisficing, well-being
ASJC Classification3312 Sociology and Political Science; 3207 Social Psychology
Languageen angielski
2018-JPSP-Maximizing in Friendshiips.pdf 220.52 KB
Additional file
Oświadczenie_publ_JPSP2018-Maximizing Friends-JBNezlek-signed.pdf 80.59 KB
Score (nominal)45
Score sourcejournalList
Publication indicators Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2017 = 3.197; WoS Impact Factor: 2017 = 5.733 (2) - 2017=7.388 (5)
Citation count*24 (2021-02-24)
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