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THE MODIFIABILITY OF DECISIONS MADE IN A CHANGING ENVIRONMENT,
ELECTRONIC SYSTEMS DIV L G HANSCOM FIELD MASS
This research is concerned with the question of whether a decision makers sensitivity to incoming information undergoes any change after he has reached a decision. A dynamic decision task, embedded in a limited war context, was presented to the subject who was required to assess simulated reconnaissance reports and to estimate the location of the enemys main force. After a certain number of trials in which the information samples pointed to one of the alternative locations, the subject was then presented with a growing body of contraindicative information. An experimental study of the factors influencing decision modification was designed to test the effect of three main variables 1 nature of the original condition, 2 length of time over which expectations were built up, and 3 amount of change represented in the shift from the initial condition to the post-decision situation. Twelve subjects were tested individually in a series of six periods. The facility with which subjects modified their decisions was inversely related to the amount of situational change and the amount of experience in the situation before a change was introduced. The results indicated also that more information is required to change a decision than is originally needed to make the decision. Comparison of the subjects performance scores with those of an ideal Bayesian observer showed highly significant correlations.
See also AD-600 441.