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satisficer

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

A satisficer is a pragmatic individual who makes decisions based on meeting requirements in a timely manner, finding the “good enough” solution and moving on. The word is a portmanteau of the words satisfy and suffice.

Satisficing contrasts with maximizing. Herbert A. Simon, an American psychologist, identified the two types of decision makers in his 1957 paper. Maximizers are driven to seek the optimal outcome in any endeavor. That approach may be warranted for some important decisions but it often leads to delays in the process because the maximizer has placed too much importance on finding the perfect solution. Analysis paralysis can result in wasted resources, reduced productivity, lost opportunities and failed projects.

Multiple studies have indicated that satisficers are happier people. Maximizing, on the other hand, is reported to be negatively correlated with happiness and positively correlated with perfectionism, depression and regret.

This was last updated in February 2019

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