Feedback influences decision making

November 13th, 2008 - 1:12 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Nov 13 (IANS) Feedback from another source overrides explicit description of ground realities in decision making, according to a new study. In other words, feedback predisposes individuals to ignore what they were explicitly told about the situation. Psychologists discovered that participants responded differently, depending on whether or not they received feedback, even though they were presented with complete descriptive information.

People who received feedback overlooked small probabilities, preferring the slightly larger but uncertain outcome over the small guaranteed win, but chose the small, but certain win over the large but rare outcome.

Contrasting with prevailing theories of individual choice in economics, researchers noted that the group receiving feedback began to treat the small probabilities in a more objective way, suggesting that feedback after repeated choice may drive people towards rational decision making.

Indiana University psychologists Ryan Jessup, Anthony Bishara and Jerome Busemeyer conducted the study, according to a university release.

The authors concluded that this study “has implications for behavioural choice theories in economics and psychology, as well as for neurophysiological studies aimed at uncovering the neural substrates underlying choice behaviour”.

The results were published in the October issue of Psychological Science.

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