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The effects of decision aid recommendations on user's cognitive processes, memories, and judgments

by Roberts, Forrest Douglas.

Abstract (Summary)
This study extends the existing decision aid literature by examining the influence of decision aid recommendations on users’ memories, decision processes, and judgments. Existing research suggests that decision aids can be beneficial in a variety of settings. Judgments or decisions, the outputs of the decision-making process, are the focus of most of the decision aid research. This study offers a more comprehensive investigation of the impact of decision aids by examining both the outputs of the decision-making process and the inputs and processes that lead to judgment and decision-making. An experiment is conducted that examines the influence of decision aid recommendations on memory patterns, search, cue usage, and judgments. Specifically, the study focuses on how positive and negative decision aid recommendations and the timing of receipt of the decision aid recommendation differentially affect these components of the decision process. The key findings of the research are: (1) decision aid recommendations create strong affective responses that are encoded in memory and cause users to reconstruct memories of financial data to be consistent with the affective response, (2) receiving a decision aid recommendation at the start of a task creates a strong initial response that acts as an initial hypothesis wherein users’ subsequent information search patterns exhibit a confirming bias, (3) receiving a decision aid recommendation later in the task creates a strong response that initiates professional skepticism and causes users’ subsequent information search patterns to exhibit a disconfirming bias, (4) decision aid recommendations influence the choice of information cues users believe to be important, (5) decision aid recommendations exert influence on users’ judgments, with the amount iv of influence diminishing as additional information is received, and (6) working memory capacity is a determinant in the ability to recall financial information but does not determine the extent of influence decision aid recommendations have on users. These findings, when considered together, validate the need for a more complete examination of how decision aids impact the entire decision-making process to identify potential negative consequences in addition to proposed benefits. This research demonstrates that task structure can be manipulated to mitigate certain undesirable consequences of decision aid use. v
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School:The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

School Location:USA - Tennessee

Source Type:Master's Thesis

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