December 2022
Volume 22, Issue 14
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   December 2022
Using Multiple-Target Visual Search to Assess Maximizing Behavior
Author Affiliations
  • Elisabeth Slifkin
    University of Central Florida
  • Mark Neider
    University of Central Florida
Journal of Vision December 2022, Vol.22, 3769. doi:
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      Elisabeth Slifkin, Mark Neider; Using Multiple-Target Visual Search to Assess Maximizing Behavior. Journal of Vision 2022;22(14):3769.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Accepting an adequate solution is often necessary when it is not possible to examine countless alternatives. Maximizers seek to identify all possibilities and select the best option, while satisficers accept the first suitable option. Previous work found that satisficers achieved equivalent accuracy on a single-target visual search task to maximizers, but in less time (Slifkin & Neider, 2021). The present study builds upon previous work by assessing maximizing behavior in multiple-target visual search. This task aims to reflect real-world settings where individuals must select among an array of options, as when shopping for various goods. Here maximizers perform objectively better than satisficers (Cheek & Schwartz, 2016). Participants completed several personality assessments, including a maximizing scale, and performed a multiple-target visual search task online. The search task consisted of 40 items, with target Ts and offset L distractors, and 0, 1, 2, or 3 targets present on each trial. Participants were not informed how many targets were present on each trial. At least one target was present on 75% of trials, equally distributed across number of targets. Participants identified targets by mouse click and self-terminated their search by clicking a ‘Done’ button. The top and bottom quartiles of the maximizing scale were classified as maximizers and satisficers, respectively. There was no difference between maximizers and satisficers in terms of overall search accuracy (p=.54) or targets found for each level of target presence (p=.59). There were also no differences between groups in overall search time (p=.99) or time to end the trial after finding the last target (p=.91). Overall, these results suggest that contrary to expectations, there are no observable differences between maximizers and satisficers on a multiple-target visual search task. It is possible this task is not analogous to real-world consumer situations in which differences have been observed.


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