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Sequential evidence accumulation in decision making: the individual desired level of confidence can explain the extent of information acquisition


Hausmann, D; Läge, D (2008). Sequential evidence accumulation in decision making: the individual desired level of confidence can explain the extent of information acquisition. Judgment and Decision Making, 3(3):229-243.

Abstract

Judgments and decisions under uncertainty are frequently linked to a prior sequential search for relevant information. In such cases, the subject has to decide when to stop the search for information. Evidence accumulation models from social and cognitive psychology assume an active and sequential information search until enough evidence has been accumulated to pass a decision threshold. In line with such theories, we conceptualize the evidence threshold as the “desired level of confidence” (DLC) of a person. This model is tested against a fixed stopping rule (one-reason decision making) and against the class of multi-attribute information integrating models. A series of experiments using an information board for horse race betting demonstrates an advantage of the proposed model by measuring the individual DLC of each subject and confirming its correctness in two separate stages. In addition to a better understanding of the stopping rule (within the narrow framework of simple heuristics), the results indicate that individual aspiration levels might be a relevant factor when modelling decision making by task analysis of statistical environments.

Judgments and decisions under uncertainty are frequently linked to a prior sequential search for relevant information. In such cases, the subject has to decide when to stop the search for information. Evidence accumulation models from social and cognitive psychology assume an active and sequential information search until enough evidence has been accumulated to pass a decision threshold. In line with such theories, we conceptualize the evidence threshold as the “desired level of confidence” (DLC) of a person. This model is tested against a fixed stopping rule (one-reason decision making) and against the class of multi-attribute information integrating models. A series of experiments using an information board for horse race betting demonstrates an advantage of the proposed model by measuring the individual DLC of each subject and confirming its correctness in two separate stages. In addition to a better understanding of the stopping rule (within the narrow framework of simple heuristics), the results indicate that individual aspiration levels might be a relevant factor when modelling decision making by task analysis of statistical environments.

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19 citations in Web of Science®
18 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:March 2008
Deposited On:15 Jan 2009 14:13
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:36
Publisher:Society for Judgment and Decision Making
ISSN:1930-2975
Official URL:http://journal.sjdm.org/bn4.pdf
Related URLs:http://journal.sjdm.org/ (Publisher)
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-6226

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