High achievers may be more prone to product dissatisfaction, study finds

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People who constantly strive to be better are generally less satisfied with products they purchase, according to a new study from Northwestern University.

"We found that individuals who have a 'must have the best' mindset experience more regret and are less satisfied with the products they purchase or consume. They are also more likely to return the items or switch brands entirely," wrote authors Jingjing Ma and Neal J. Roese, both of the Kellogg School of Management.

They performed experiments that showed those with a “maximizing mindset” tend to adopt a goal of getting the best. But that can have a negative effect on well-being, especially when a product disappoints. 

"Our research shows the potential impact of the maximizing mindset on post-purchase regret, customer satisfaction, and brand loyalty, particularly for companies claiming to offer the best available product on the market,” the authors wrote.

Results are scheduled to appear in Journal of Consumer Research.