Do Information Search Patterns Reflect Integration Rules (Geven Informatie-Zoekpatronen Integratieregels Weer)
INSTITUTE FOR PERCEPTION RVO-TNO SOESTERBERG (NETHERLANDS)
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Structural modelling research and studies using information boards have reported contradicting findings regarding the cognitive processes underlying individual decision making. Whereas in the structural modelling approach choices could well be predicted by linear models, information board studies have stressed the nonlinear use of information as a dominant decision strategy. One explanation for this result addresses the major assumption of the information board paradigm, asserting that decision strategies can be inferred from information search patterns. A major research finding is that information search patterns change with task complexity, i.e. with high task complexity depth of search is decreased, which means that less information is requested, and variability of search is increased. Higher variability of search is directly translated to an increased use of noncompensatory strategies. In the present experiment the agreement between subjects choices and best choices as calculated by a linear model are compared in two task complexity conditions. It was hypothesized that if information search patterns reflect integration rules agreement between subjects choices and linear model predictions should decrease with increased task complexity. The results showed that, even though depth of information search decreased and variability of search increased in the high complexity condition, relative agreement between subjects choices and linear model predictions remained constant across task conditions. Keywords Netherlands.
- Operations Research