Task Influences in the Analytic-Intuitive Approach to Decision Making
Final rept. 1 Oct 1981-31 Dec 1984
RICE UNIV HOUSTON TX DEPT OF PSYCHOLOGY
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The broad purpose of the research conducted under Project NR197-074 was to clarify the effects of certain formally irrelevant task characteristics on judgment and decision performance. The primary integrating theme was Hammonds 1980, 1981 cognitive continuum theory, which classifies a number of general task parameters with respect to their hypothesized influence on human thought. Some conditions, it is suggested, induce a more analytic rule-based approach others, a more intuitive one. Despite measurement problems which prevent a rigorous test of the theory, its logical and taxonomic features have proven useful in organizing the search for--and attack on--task influences. Variables were selected and manipulated in accordance with their expected cognitive implications, even though it is impossible to verify their precise location on the analytic-intuitive continuum. To the extent that judgment or decision behavior changes in the predicted ways, something is learned about these particular task variables, and the basic tenets of the theory are strengthened. While extreme cases -- situations in which people behave relatively normatively analytic extreme or heuristically intuitive extreme-- are not hard to find and have been well researched as discussed below, this document focuses has been on the middle ground--the area where subtle manipulations might have an important effect. Originator-supplied key words include heuristic methods, scenarios.
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