The effects of time constraints on the prechoice screening of decision options

Lehman Benson, Lee Roy Beach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


The purpose of this research was to see if the effects of time constraints on screening are similar to those that have been reported for choice: switching to simpler decision strategies and/or speeding up strategy execution. The first of two studies found that under time constraints, subjects did not switch strategies but that some subjects increased the speed of execution of their existing strategy while others became more inconsistent in executing their existing strategy. The second study found that instructions that stressed the importance of the task led more subjects to speed up and reduced the number who were inconsistent. Again, there was no evidence of use of a simpler version of the strategy. The results show that, like choice, screening under time constraints can lead to speeding up of execution, particularly if the screening decision is important. However, switching to a simpler strategy, which occurs in choice, does not appear to occur in screening. Instead, subjects appear to become less exacting in the execution of their existing screening strategy, which results in inconsistencies in acceptance and rejection of options.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)222-228
Number of pages7
JournalOrganizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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