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The Effects of Alternative Presentation Formats on Biases and Heuristics in Human Decision Making

Description: The purpose of this research was to determine whether changes in the presentation format of items in a computer display could be used to alter the impact of specific cognitive biases, and to add to the knowledge needed to construct theory-based guidelines for output design. The problem motivating this study is twofold. The first part of the problem is the sub-optimal decision making caused by the use of heuristics and their associated cognitive biases. The second part of the problem is the lack of a theoretical basis to guide the design of information presentation formats to counter the effects of such biases. An availability model of the impact of changes in presentation format on biases and heuristics was constructed based on the findings of a literature review. A six-part laboratory experiment was conducted utilizing a sample of 205 student subjects from the college of business. The independent variable was presentation format which was manipulated by altering the visual salience or visual recency of items of information in a visual computer display. The dependent variables included recall, perceived importance, and the subjects' responses to three judgment tasks. The results clearly demonstrate that changes in presentation format can be used to alter the impact of cognitive biases on human decision making. The results also provide support for the availability model, with the exception of the proposed influence of learning style. Learning style was found to have no significant impact on decision making whether alone or in combination with changes in presentation format. The results of this investigation demonstrate that by using our knowledge of cognitive processes (e.g., the visual salience effect, the visual recency effect, and the availability heuristic), presentation formats can be altered in order to moderate the effects of certain biases and heuristics in human decision making. An understanding of ...
Date: May 1996
Creator: Van Dyke, Thomas P. (Thomas Peter)
Partner: UNT Libraries

An Investigation of the Productivity of Information System Helpdesk User Support Professsionals as Impacted by Their Communication Behavior : A Field Experiment

Description: This research conducted an interdisciplinary field experiment to identify relationships between productivity, user satisfaction and IS Helpdesk USP's use of effective communication behavior. An experimental group of Helpdesk USPs of a large retail organization were trained by communication professionals in communication effectiveness, with emphasis on the needs of the telephone environment.
Date: May 1996
Creator: Breshears, Robert Louis
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Role of Electronic Messaging in the Intermediate Business Context

Description: This research examines the role of electronic messaging in business firms. The study presents a taxonomy of electronic mail uses, develops a theoretical framework for analyzing electronic mail impact, and investigates risks and advantages of electronic messaging. The research focus is intermediate-size firms.
Date: May 1996
Creator: Case, Carl Jay
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Impact of Multimedia on Information Scanning Effectiveness: an Empirical Study in an Executive Support Systems Environment

Description: This study investigates the impact of multimedia on the effectiveness of information scanning. Information scanning is the act of seeking and receiving a wide variety of special information to develop a thorough understanding of the organization and the environment. The application domain of this study is Executive Support Systems. The experimental task is to identify potential threats and opportunities, a strategic information-scanning activity, based on the information stored in three ESS prototypes. Forty subjects from four organizations participated in the experiment. A random assignment process allocated them into three groups. The control group used the text-based ESS. The first experimental group used the visual multimedia ESS. The second experimental group used the audiovisual multimedia ESS. The experiment was carried out on the sites of the participating organizations. The investigator measured the effectiveness of information scanning based on the number of threats and opportunities each subject identifies. A close-ended questionnaire measured subjects' retention of information. The results of this study support the cognitive-fit theory. The findings indicate that multimedia is not an appropriate presentation format for analytical tasks. Subjects who use text-based ESS identify significantly more threats and opportunities than subjects who use audiovisual multimedia ESS. The cognitive style of subjects does not moderate the impact of multimedia. The results show that the use of multimedia does not necessarily improve retention of information. Further research is needed to determine the most effective combination of text, graphics, animation, video, and sound.
Date: May 1996
Creator: Huang, Hsin-Chih
Partner: UNT Libraries