Decision Makers’ Cognitive Biases in Operations Management: An Experimental Study

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Behavioral operations management (BOM) has gained popularity in the last two decades. The main theme in this new stream of research is to include the human behavior in Operations Management (OM) models to increase the effectiveness of such models. BOM is classified into 4 areas: cognitive psychology, social psychology, group dynamics and system dynamics (Bendoly et al. 2010). This dissertation will focus on the first class, namely cognitive psychology. Cognitive psychology is further classified into heuristics and biases. Tversky and Kahneman (1974) discussed 3 heuristics and 13 cognitive biases that usually face decision makers. This dissertation is going to study ... continued below

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Alkhars, Mohammed May 2016.

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  • Alkhars, Mohammed

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Description

Behavioral operations management (BOM) has gained popularity in the last two decades. The main theme in this new stream of research is to include the human behavior in Operations Management (OM) models to increase the effectiveness of such models. BOM is classified into 4 areas: cognitive psychology, social psychology, group dynamics and system dynamics (Bendoly et al. 2010). This dissertation will focus on the first class, namely cognitive psychology. Cognitive psychology is further classified into heuristics and biases. Tversky and Kahneman (1974) discussed 3 heuristics and 13 cognitive biases that usually face decision makers. This dissertation is going to study 6 cognitive biases under the representativeness heuristic. The model in this dissertation states that cognitive reflection of the individual (Frederick 2005) and training about cognitive biases in the form of warning (Kaufmann and Michel 2009) will help decisions’ makers make less biased decisions. The 6 cognitive biases investigated in this dissertation are insensitivity to prior probability, insensitivity to sample size, misconception of chance, insensitivity to predictability, the illusion of validity and misconception of regression. 6 scenarios in OM contexts have been used in this study. Each scenario corresponds to one cognitive bias. Experimental design has been used as the research tool. To see the impact of training, one group of the participants received the scenarios without training and the other group received them with training. The training consists of a brief description of the cognitive bias as well as an example of the cognitive bias. Cognitive reflection is operationalized using cognitive reflection test (CRT). The survey was distributed to students at University of North Texas (UNT). Logistic regression has been employed to analyze data. The research shows that participants show the cognitive biases proposed by Tversky and Kahneman. Moreover, CRT is significant factor to predict the cognitive bias in two scenarios. Finally, providing training in terms of warning helps participants to make more rational decisions in 4 scenarios. This means that although cognitive biases are inherent in the mind of people, management of corporations has the tool to educate its managers and professionals about such biases which helps companies make more rational decisions.

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  • May 2016

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • June 28, 2016, 4:28 p.m.

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  • July 25, 2016, 12:42 p.m.

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Alkhars, Mohammed. Decision Makers’ Cognitive Biases in Operations Management: An Experimental Study, dissertation, May 2016; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc849675/: accessed June 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .