When is more better? On the relationship between magnitude and subjective value

Christopher K. Hsee (First Author), Zhixing Xiao (Participant Author), Yuval Rottenstreich (Participant Author)

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal

40 Citations (Web of Science)


We examine three determinants of the relationship between the magnitude of a stimulus and a persons subjective "value" of that stimulus: the process by which value is assessed (either by feeling or by calculation), the evaluability of the relevant magnitude variable (whether the desirability of a given level of that variable can be evaluated independently), and the mode of evaluation (whether stimuli are encountered and evaluated jointly or separately). Reliance on feeling, lack of evaluability, and separate evaluation lead to insensitivity to magnitude. An analysis invoking these factors provides a novel account for why people typically become less sensitive to changes in the magnitude of a stimulus as magnitude increases.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)234-237
JournalCurrent Directions in Psychological Science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2005

Corresponding author email



  • evaluability
  • magnitude; affect
  • scope neglect

Indexed by

  • Scopus
  • SSCI


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