Waraku Education

Ideas, experiments and observations as they occur [and I have time] relating to teaching and learning in a secondary school - special focus on ICT.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Do teachers tend to be maximisers or satisficers?

I wonder if

  • teachers tend to be maximisers or satisficers?

  • this impacts on subject selection processes and outcomes?

  • this impacts on the number of people that end up being maximisers or satisficers?

If you are a teacher then please

  1. do the maximiser or a satisficer survey

  2. and then complete the teacher survey to help us answer this question – Do teachers tend to be maximisers or satisficers?

The following article provides more information about maximisers and satisficers and details a number of studies that correlate satisfaction with these characteristic decision makers

Maximizing Versus Satisficing: Happiness Is a Matter of Choice


  • At 8:59 pm, Anonymous Graham Wegner said…

    Hi Peter, I've just done your survey. Will you be releasing the results via your blog when you are done? (By the way, I found out that I am a maximiser.)

  • At 9:31 pm, Blogger Wara said…

    Thanks for that Graham. My intention is to do that. I had hoped that the survey software would allow the dynamic viewing of the results. :-(

  • At 4:57 pm, Blogger Jason Plunkett said…

    Interesting Article.
    Still reading, interested in how this will relate to subject selection. I can see the issues interested in your follow up discussion.

    Not sure that I believe all stores follow this model though. McDonalds does seem to be the exception to the rule.

    Sure they have a lot of choice, but if you break it down there really isn't more than about 7 choices.

    Want to eat healthy? - Healthy Choice Menu
    Want a burger? - Burger Menu
    Drinks? - Shake or Softdrink, then flavour.

    Might have something to do with why they are so successful, they obviously keep to a model... maybe choice is a part of the model...

  • At 5:05 pm, Blogger Wara said…

    Seven is a magic number. More than seven and the brain has troubles processing and remembering. So having the 'Want to be healthy?' type set of choices is very smart. The way that this could translate into subejct selection could be - office work choices, trade choices, etc. perhaps

  • At 11:18 am, Anonymous ruth said…

    Hello Peter, I have completed both surveys and apparently I'm a maximiser. However I have some level of skepicism (spelling?) - I believe I maximise in some situations but not others - make choices to maximize !!!!! The survey gave degrees of agreement (choices) but no degrees of result (not satisfied!). By the very nature of our profession we have to be maximisers - we deal with mixed ability groups all the time and are encouraged to provide levels of choice/activity/outcome. We are trained that way even if our natural tendancy is otherwise.

  • At 6:52 pm, Blogger Wara said…

    "By the very nature of our profession we have to be maximisers"
    "We are trained that way even if our natural tendancy is otherwise."

    I think you have hit the nail on the head Ruth.

    I wonder what the implications are for the way that we deal with parents and students who are 'satisficers'. I reckon that there might be some tension.

    How do these little statements sit with this idea?
    "This is your future we are talking about"
    "You need to balance all of the options"
    "Taking subjects because that is what your friends are doing is not good enough."


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