Though indecisiveness is associated with several mental disorders and a range of problematic psychological outcomes in normal populations, it is still poorly understood. We distinguish two features of indecisiveness: (a) aversive, a generalized aversion for decisions that manifests as threat-oriented cognition and negative affect when making decisions, and (b) avoidant, a generalized motivation to avoid decisions and to experience difficulties making decisions. Using exploratory (Study 1) and confirmatory (Study 2) factor analyses, we show that the Indecisiveness Scale (Frost & Shows, 1993) possesses factors reflecting these two features. Moreover, we use correlation and regression to test hypotheses regarding the relationships among these components of indecisiveness and regret proneness, maximization, and BIS and BAS sensitivities. Results suggest the utility of distinguishing aversive from avoidant indecisiveness as well as characterizing stable attitudes towards decisions in terms of basic personality processes.

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Personality and Individual Differences
Department of Psychology

Spunt, S.L, Rassin, E.G.C, & Epstein, L.M. (2009). Aversive and avoidant indecisiveness: Roles for regret proneness, maximization, and BIS/BAS sensitivities. Personality and Individual Differences, 47(4), 256–261. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2009.03.009