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The Effects of Cognitive Style and Prior Information on Multi-Stage Decisionmaking.
Final rept. Aug 82-Dec 85,
ALPHATECH INC BURLINGTON MA
Pagination or Media Count:
Drawing on the decisionmaking literature and on an initial ROC experiment a research design was formulated to investigate multi-stage decisionmaking and cognitive style in conditions of uncertainty. Subjects participating in the simulation experiment were required to discriminate between missile attack or a missile test condition based on probabilistic imperfect information. Results from the signal detection analyses replicated the earlier effects subjects possessing an analytic style made significantly better discriminations than subjects exhibiting a global style. ANOVA results showed that subjects held higher attack probabilities 1 in attack conditions, 2 when missile site attack probability was high, 3 as the heat sensor range moved closer to in-missile range, and 4 with each succeeding report. All the two-way interactions proved significant as were two of the three-ways. Overall, subjects demonstrated a strong bias in favor of prior information to gauge attack probability and when that source was weak attempted to use the heat signature information. It was also possible to devise a normative-descriptive model of the subjects multistage decisionmaking that fit the data quite well.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE