M. Zeelenberg, W. W. van Dijk, and A. S. R. Manstead (1998, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 74, 254-272) recently reported an altered replication of our earlier study (T. Connolly, L. D. Ordóñez, & R. Coughlan, 1997, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 70, 73-85) concerning the effects of decision agency on regret and outcome evaluation. Our earlier study had found no such effect, but Zeelenberg et al. did. In two new experiments, we have largely confirmed Zeelenberg et al.'s result but have shown that, contrary to most theory, regret (a) can appear even in the absence of decision agency, (b) can be unrelated to outcome evaluations, and (c) may be more influenced by the experience of gains or losses from the status quo than by any decisional responsibility for those changes. Copyright 2000 Academic Press.
Groupthink theory has continued relevance to organizations because of the organizational trend toward self-managing work teams. A typology is developed linking the key differentiating characteristics of self-managing teams to groupthink antecedents of group cohesion, structural faults of the organization, and provocative situational context. Building upon this framework, we more specifically examine variables that will impact the occurrence of groupthink within self-managing teams. Implications for the prevention of groupthink in self-managing teams are discussed. Copyright 1998 Academic Press.
People are typically overly optimistic when evaluating the quality of their performance on social and intellectual tasks. In particular, poor performers grossly overestimate their performances because their incompetence deprives them of the skills needed to recognize their deficits. Five studies demonstrated that poor performers lack insight into their shortcomings even in real world settings and when given incentives to be accurate. An additional meta-analysis showed that it was lack of insight into their own errors (and not mistaken assessments of their peers) that led to overly optimistic estimates among poor performers. Along the way, these studies ruled out recent alternative accounts that have been proposed to explain why poor performers hold such positive impressions of their performance.
Heinrich's (1931) classical study implies that most industrial accidents can be characterized as a probabilistic result of human error. The present research quantifies Heinrich's observation and compares four descriptive models of decision making in the abstracted setting. The suggested quantification utilizes signal detection theory (Green & Swets, 1966). It shows that Heinrich's observation can be described as a probabilistic signal detection task. In a controlled experiment, 90 decision makers participated in 600 trials of six safety games. Each safety game was a numerical example of the probabilistic SDT abstraction of Heinrich's proposition. Three games were designed under a frame of gain to represent perception of safe choice as costless, while the other three were designed under a frame of loss to represent perception of safe choice as costly. Probabilistic penalty for Miss was given at three different levels (1, .5, .1). The results showed that decisions tended initially to be risky and that experience led to safer behavior. As the probability of being penalized was lowered decisions became riskier and the learning process was impaired. The results support the cutoff reinforcement learning model suggested by Erev et al. (1995). The hill-climbing learning model (Busemeyer & Myung, 1992) was partially supported. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed. Copyright 1998 Academic Press.
Subjects screened a set of jobs, retaining those for which they wished to apply and rejecting those that were no longer under consideration. In Experiment 1, subjects who indicated the jobs for which they would apply/not apply screened out fewer jobs than those with instructions to reject/not reject or those with instructions simply to screen (control). There were no differences between the reject and control conditions. Experiment 2 used a design similar to that of Experiment 1, but subjects were made accountable for their screening judgments. The reject-apply discrepancy remained, but the accountability manipulation made the subjects more stringent in their screening compared to those who were not accountable for their judgments. In Experiment 3, subjects were told to consider either the regret resulting from retaining a bad option (regret bad) or the regret from rejecting a good option (regret good). Subjects in the regret bad condition rejected more jobs than did subjects in the regret good condition, but not more than subjects in the control condition. As predicted by image theory, the normal screening process appears to be to screen out the bad options rather than screen in the good options. This is demonstrated by screening in the control condition being similar to screening under the reject instructions (Experiment 1) and under regret bad instructions (Experiment 3), since these conditions were shown to focus attention on the bad options. Copyright 1999 Academic Press.
In this paper, we argue that judgment biases in negotiation are perpetuated by underlying cultural values and ideals, and therefore, certain judgment biases will be more prevalent in certain cultural contexts. Based on theory in cultural psychology (Markus & Kitayama, 1991; Triandis, 1989), we considered the notion that fixed pie error, a judgment bias in which negotiators fail to accurately understand their counterparts' interests (Pruitt & Lewis, 1975; Thompson & Hastie, 1990), would be more prevalent at the end of negotiations in the United States, an individualistic culture, than Greece, a collectivistic culture. The results of a 2-week computer-mediated intercultural negotiation experiment, which took place between American students in Illinois and Greek students in Athens, supported this view. Theoretical implications of culture and cognition in negotiation are also discussed. Copyright 1999 Academic Press.
This study investigated features of the value function for voice using subjects from four countries: Great Britain, Mexico, The Netherlands, and the United States. Across these four groups of subjects the shape of the value function was found to be similar, though differences in the estimated reference points were detected. Consistent with predictions derived from prospect theory (Kahneman & Tversky, 1979) the relationship between the value of voice and the magnitude of voice was found to be direct, monotonic, and nonlinear. The largest increment in value occurred when the magnitude of voice shifted from mute to some voice. Thereafter, increments in value tended to decline in magnitude suggesting diminishing marginal returns on the response measure of procedural fairness. An unexpected finding was that the final segment of the value function was convex indicating increasing marginal returns as the magnitude of voice shifted from its penultimate level to its maximum possible level. The study also investigated whether subjects' reported expectations of voice correspond to the value function reference point as theorized in the literature. Findings suggest that self-reported expectations of voice are higher than the estimated value function reference point.
This research examined the effects of mastery vs. performance training goals and learning and performance goal orientation traits on multidimensional outcomes of training. Training outcomes included declarative knowledge, knowledge structure coherence, training performance, and self-efficacy. We also examined the unique impact of the training outcomes on performance adaptability by predicting generalization to a more difficult and complex version of the task. The experiment involved 60 trainees learning a complex computer simulation over 2 days. The research model posited independent effects for training goals relative to goal orientation traits and independent contributions of training outcomes to the performance adaptability of trainees. The findings were consistent with the proposed model. In particular, self-efficacy and knowledge structure coherence made unique contributions to the prediction of performance adaptability after controlling for prior training performance and declarative knowledge. Implications and extensions are discussed. Copyright 2001 Academic Press.
J. Rosse and H. Miller (1984, in P. Goodman, R. Atkin et al., Absenteeism: New Approaches to understanding, measuring, and managing employee absence. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass) have proposed a model of employee adaptation that hypothesizes multiple withdrawal behaviors and attempts to change working conditions as alternative forms of adaptation to a dissatisfying work environment. Negative health outcomes are also hypothesized consequences of dissatisfaction with work. In this longitudinal study of 42 new hospital employees, intention to quit, turnover, absence, attempts to change the job, and heatlh disorders were negatively correlated with job satisfaction; lateness and self-report avoidance scale were not. Use of adaptive behaviors was also found to have remedial effects for employee health. Implications for a general model of adaptation are discussed.
This research investigated gender differences in the overlooked context of individual adoption and sustained usage of technology in the workplace using the theory of planned behavior (TPB). User reactions and technology usage behavior were studied over a 5-month period among 355 workers being introduced to a new software technology application. When compared to women's decisions, the decisions of men were more strongly influenced by their attitude toward using the new technology. In contrast, women were more strongly influenced by subjective norm and perceived behavioral control. Sustained technology usage behavior was driven by early usage behavior, thus fortifying the lasting influence of gender-based early evaluations of the new technology. These findings were robust across income, organization position, education, and computer self-efficacy levels. Copyright 2000 Academic Press.
People received advice from four sources and used it to produce a judgment. They also assessed the quality of advice by estimating the probability that it would be correct. They were better at assessing than at using advice: combinations of advice based on their assessments were superior to their judgments. Order of assessing and using advice, superficial differences between advisors, and using other methods of advice assessment had no significant effects on this superiority of advice assessment over advice use. However, use but not assessment was improved when some advisors exhibited biases opposite to those that people typically show. It appears that using advice imposes a heavier processing load than assessing its quality and that this load can be lightened by including advisors who exhibit unusual behavior. Their salience may help people working under a heavy processing load make appropriate pairings between advisor weights and advice. Copyright 2000 Academic Press.
The relationship between trust, confidence, and expertise in Judge-Advisor Systems is examined in two experiments with Judge-Advisor pairs, one with strangers and another with participants in ongoing relationships. There was expertise asymmetry so that Judges had less expertise than their Advisors. The dyads could receive money for accurate Judge decisions. Either the Judge or Advisor had the power to allocate this money between dyad members, before task interaction in study one and after task completion in study two. Because Judges were more dependent on Advisors than vice versa, it was predicted that trust would be more important to Judges. Results were supportive. Judges had higher and more variable ratings of trust in their partner than did Advisors, suggesting that Judges were more motivated to evaluate trust. High confidence by Advisors had a positive impact on Judges' ratings of trust and tendency to follow their advice. Judges' trust in their Advisors was significantly related their taking the advice and being confident in their final decisions. Although participants in study two had higher levels of trust in their partners, they allocated less money to them. The implications for establishing trust are discussed. Copyright 2001 Academic Press.
In decisions under uncertainty, decision makers confront two uncertainties: the uncertain linkage between actions and outcomes and the uncertain linkage between these outcomes and his or her affective responses to them. The two studies reported here examine affective responses to expected and unexpected outcomes in various settings. In Study 1, a scenario-based laboratory experiment (N = 149), we examined subjects' predicted responses to a range of outcomes, as a function of how surprising the outcome was. Study 2, a field study (N = 127), involved the expectations of bowlers about their scores in an upcoming game and about their responses to various outcomes at, above, and below expectations. We also measured actual affective reactions after the bowlers had completed their games. Findings suggest that subjects both expect and experience a loss-averse, expectation-based value function broadly of the Prospect Theory type. They also anticipate, and experience, an amplifying effect of outcome surprise, though they underestimate its size. We argue that such underestimation, together with overtight prediction ranges, may expose subjects to much larger affective variation with outcome variability than they anticipate. Copyright 2001 Academic Press.
This research investigates how choice-process satisfaction is influenced by limitation of choice option and by the types of features used to represent the options. Studies of choice satisfaction have focused on how satisfied the decision maker feels about the choice that has been made and have overlooked the importance of the process through which the decision maker makes a choice, i.e., choice-process satisfaction. We show that the comparability of choice options through alignable features increases choice-process satisfaction, whereas option limitation (i.e., making one option unavailable from a set of equally attractive options) decreases choice-process satisfaction. Further, this decrease in satisfaction, relative to all options being available, occurs for people who are given a set of options in which the difference features are alignable (i.e., differences of a corresponding dimension) but not for people who are given a set of options in which the difference features are nonalignable (i.e., differences of unique dimensions). We propose that alignable differences are easier to compare and have more weight in people's attribute processing, and thus give rise to a perception of a greater amount of information about the option set that is relevant for choice. Making an option unavailable in this case would have a bigger impact than in a situation in which all options have nonalignable differences. Nonalignable differences are difficult to process and are less likely to make people aware that there is very much information about the options for decision making. This explanation and the interaction effect between option limitation and feature alignability are tested in four experiments. Copyright 1999 Academic Press.
This article provides a summary of empirical research on groupthink theory. Groupthink research, including analyses of historical cases of poor group decision making and laboratory tests of groupthink, is reviewed. Results from these two research areas are briefly compared. Theoretical and methodological issues for future groupthink research are identified and discussed. I conclude that groupthink research has had and continues to have considerable heuristic value. A small, but growing, body of empirical literature has been generated. In addition, groupthink research has stimulated a number of theoretical ideas, most of which have yet to be tested. Copyright 1998 Academic Press.
In this series of experiments we investigate two commonly used methods of assigning numerical values (i.e., decision weights) to attributes in order to signify their perceived relative importance. The two methods are to ask people to directly rate each of the attributes in turn (Rating), or to allocate a budget of points (typically 100 points) to the attributes (Point Allocation or PA). These procedures may seem to be minor variants of one another, yet they produce very different profiles of decision weights. The differences are predicted by a simple, idealized model of weighting, from which Rating and PA, in different ways, exhibit consistent elicitation-dependent bias.
The current study examined the strategies used by people to solve resource-allocation problems. Verbal protocols were recorded as participants provided meal choices for seven consecutive days with limited resources available to spend on meals and with daily constraints imposed on meal consumption. None of the participants incorporated the established mathematical procedures (i.e., Linear Programming) to arrive at the optimum number of meals possible in a week. However, the strategies they did use enabled them to achieve meal totals on average at 94% of this optimal amount. A few participants attempted to first solve the maximum meals possible in a week before scheduling this solution across the seven days (solve-and-schedule strategy), but the majority of participants simply selected meals on a day-to-day basis while checking resource availability each day to allow for full resource consumption (consume-and-check strategy). The findings of this study provide a preliminary step toward understanding how people make intuitive resource-allocation decisions. Copyright 1998 Academic Press.
Recent research has demonstrated that the perceived certainty of a focal outcome depends not only on the overall amount of evidence supporting the alternatives to the focal outcome, but also on how that evidence is distributed across those alternatives (e.g., Windschitl & Wells, 1998). Three experiments replicated this alternative-outcomes effect across a variety of evidence distributions and investigated a heuristic comparison account for the effect. Participants provided gut-level certainty estimates for winning hypothetical raffles in which they and several other players held specified numbers of tickets. Results revealed that alternative-outcomes effects are not dependent on variations in the rank-order status of the focal outcome (Experiment 1) and are reliable but reduced in magnitude when the focal outcome is the least likely outcome (Experiment 2). Also, consistent with a core premise of the heuristic comparison account, evidence supporting the strongest alternative outcome was shown to play the primary role in producing alternative-outcomes effects (Experiment 3). Copyright 2001 Academic Press.
Within the context of decision analysis, the aim of this work is to discover whether the structure of objectives generated with value-focused thinking (VFT) is different from the structure generated with alternative-focused thinking (AFT). In the first of two studies, two different groups of subjects created a structure of objectives for the same decision problem. Fourteen independent assessments were made for each group. After the terms used by the two groups, were standardized, it was found that the group using VFT generated a more extensive and hierarchical structure than the AFT group. With regard to the content of the objectives, it can be stated that the VFT structure covered aspects of the problem not covered by AFT. In the second study, structures representative of the two approaches were judged by a group of decision-makers-actually involved in the problem-with respect to several qualities. It was found that the structure generated by VFT was equal or superior to that generated by AFT in all qualities judged. Copyright 1999 Academic Press.
The author examines the influence of experienced regret on the selection of the reference point used in post-choice valuation. He incorporates two reference points, expected performance and performance of the forgone alternative, the former affecting the amount of satisfaction and the latter affecting the amount of regret experienced by a decision maker. Prior research on regret has assumed only a two-alternative choice set with the forgone alternative being the reference point for measuring regret. The author relaxes that assumption and develops hypotheses to examine the selection of the reference point in cases that more closely represent real-life experience (i.e., choice sets with more than two alternatives). Two studies are reported. The results from the first study support most of the hypotheses. The second study further investigated the selection of a reference point. Several theoretical and managerial implications are discussed and future research directions are suggested. Copyright 1998 Academic Press.
This research investigates preferences and judgments under ambiguous vs conflicting information. Three studies provided evidence for two major hypotheses: (1) Conflicting messages from two equally believable sources are dispreferred in general to two informatively equivalent, ambiguous, but agreeing messages from the same sources (i.e., conflict aversion); and (2) conflicting sources are perceived as less credible than ambiguous sources. Studies 2 and 3 yielded evidence for two framing effects. First, when the outcome was negative, subjects' preferences were nearly evenly split between conflict and ambiguity, whereas a positive outcome produced marked conflict aversion. Second, a high probability of a negative outcome or a low probability of a positive one induced conflict preference. However, no framing effects were found for source credibility judgments. Study 3 also investigated whether subject identification with a source might affect preferences or credibility judgments, but found no evi dence for such an effect. The findings suggest cognitive and moti vational explanations for conflict aversion as distinct from ambi guity aversion. The cognitive heuristic is that conflict raises suspicions about whether the sources are trustworthy or credi ble. The motivational explanation stems from that idea that if sources disagree, then the judge not only becomes uncertain but also must disagree with at least one of the sources, whereas if the sources agree then the judge may agree with them and only has to bear the uncertainty. Copyright 1999 Academic Press.
The purpose of this experiment was to explore the possibility that the inconsistent findings of Brehmer and Hagafors (1986, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 38, 181-195), Sniezek and Buckley (1995, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 62, 159-174), and leader-member exchange research regarding leaders' propensity to differentially and accurately weight staff input can be explained as a result of experience, the availability to the leader of staff member judgment confidence, and the cumulative past accuracy of each staff member. The availability to the team leader of staff member past judgment accuracy and staff member judgment confidence was provided in an environment in which differential staff weighting was the appropriate staff utilization strategy. Eighty-four leaders of four-person decision-making teams performed 63 decisions on a computerized decision-making task. Both experience and providing leaders with cumulative staff past accuracy information were related to greater staff weighting variability and greater staff weighting accuracy. Although positively related to staff weighting, staff confidence information did not improve leader weighting variability nor actual staff weighting accuracy. Copyright 1999 Academic Press.
Preferences often fluctuate as a result of transient changes in hunger and other visceral states. When current decisions have delayed consequences, the preferences that should be relevant are those that will prevail when the consequences occur. However, consistent with the notion of an intrapersonal empathy gap (Loewenstein, 1996) we find that an individual's current state of appetite has a significant effect on choices that apply to the future. Participants in our study made advance choices between healthy and unhealthy snacks (i.e., fruit and junk food) that they would receive in 1 week when they were either hungry (late in the afternoon) or satisfied (immediately after lunch). In 1 week, at the appointed time, they made an immediate choice, an opportunity to change their advance choice. Our main predictions were strongly confirmed. First, advance choices were influenced by current hunger as well as future hunger: hungry participants chose more unhealthy snacks than did satisfied ones. Second, participants were dynamically inconsistent: they chose far more unhealthy snacks for immediate choice than for advance choice. An additional hypothesis related to gender differences was also confirmed. Copyright 1998 Academic Press.
Individuals do not seek help, even when help is needed and available, because help seeking implies incompetence and dependence, and therefore is related to powerlessness. It was hypothesized that gender, status, and organizational norms affect the importance of maintaining and accruing power, which in turn affect help seeking behaviors. A laboratory and a field study showed that there was more help seeking between equal-status than unequal-status individuals. Further, both studies revealed that males sought more help in collective than individualistic organizational norms, though the trend was not apparent for females. These results shed light on the psychological mechanisms underlying help seeking behaviors and have practical implications for developing steps to foster help seeking in organizations. Copyright 1997 Academic Press.
Many studies have reported that the confidence people have in their judgments exceeds their accuracy and that overconfidence increases with the difficulty of the task. However, some common analyses confound systematic psychological effects with statistical effects that are inevitable if judgments are imperfect. We present three experiments using new methods to separate systematic effects from the statistically inevitable. We still find systematic differences between confidence and accuracy, including an overall bias toward overconfidence. However, these effects vary greatly with the type of judgment. There is little general overconfidence with two-choice questions and pronounced overconfidence with subjective confidence intervals. Over- and underconfidence also vary systematically with the domain of questions asked, but not as a function of difficulty. We also find stable individual differences. Determining why some people, some domains, and some types of judgments are more prone to overconfidence will be important to understanding how confidence judgments are made. Copyright 1999 Academic Press.