Halfway through April already! We are experiencing some of Colorado’s famous temperature swings this weekend. Going from upper 80’s to potential snow again! We’ll take the moisture, but wouldn’t mind it in the form of a nice gentle rain!

These weather changes can make it hard to decide what to wear!

This is one of my favorite training topics I do with my Peer Advisory Boards. It is one of my many tools from the Catalyft Success System.

The Maximizer – Satisficer Decision Making Scale

There are a number of helpful mental models that describe how we make decisions. One way to think about the decision making process is to determine where you are on the Maximizer versus Satisficer scale. Knowing where you are provides helpful, and sometimes transformative, decision making outcomes. This new awareness can also impact the quality of your business and personal life.

“Maximizers are people who want the very best. Satisficers are people who want good enough,” says Barry Schwartz, a professor of psychology and author of The Paradox Choice.

The definition of maximize is to make the most of, or to find the maximum value of.

  • A Maximizer feels compelled to research and examine every possible option before deciding.
  • A Maximizer’s motivation is not just about making a good or even a great decision. It is about making the best decision.
  • This style is helpful in crucial decision-making situations.

Maximizers typically apply this approach automatically for major and minor decisions. They are typically as likely to attempt to maximize their outcomes for important decisions such as purchasing a business, a car, or a home as they are for relatively unimportant decisions such as where to eat dinner, finding a better bargain on clothes, or finding a more interesting station on the radio.

On the other end of the spectrum is the Satisficer.

  • This term Satisfice is a combination of the words satisfy and suffice. Satisfy means to be adequate. Suffice means to meet or satisfy a need.
  • Satisficers make a decision as soon as their criteria have been met. Satisficers generally make good decisions and are not concerned about achieving the best possible outcome.
  • This style is helpful when decisions need to be made quickly and efficiently.

A Satisficer is more interested in being expedient than thorough. They are more likely to jump on a deal or opportunity and be happy with the outcome even though they may have missed other, potentially better options. Being more expedient does not mean that Satisficers have lower standards or settle for mediocre outcomes. They can have very high standards. The key difference is, once their standards are met, they are satisfied.

Although some people fall on one or the other extreme end of this spectrum, most of us fall somewhere in between. Most people have a preferred decision-making method, but tend to be flexible based on each specific situation. For example, we may be Maximizers for big purchases such as a house or a car and Satisficers for less important decisions such as purchasing wine or choosing a restaurant.

Significant research has been done regarding Maximizer versus Satisficer decision-making styles on outcomes and satisfaction. The findings suggest that Maximizers generally achieve better outcomes. Satisficers generally have greater satisfaction. 


This week – pay attention to how you make decisions. Are you a Maximizer or a Saticficer?

  • The first step is to appreciate the natural decision-making style that we have, when it is most helpful to us, and in what specific situations we may want to modify this style.
  • The second step is to appreciate those who have styles opposite of ours.
  • The third step is to make the decision to book a 90 minute FOCUS Session with me to work on your Business! Only $299 – click here to book yours today!