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Professionally biased: Misestimations of driving speed, journey time and time-savings among taxi and car drivers


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  • Eyal Peer
  • Lidor Solomon
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    People make systematic and predictable mistakes regarding estimations of average speed and journey time. In addition, people have been shown to commit a time-saving bias by underestimating the time that can be saved when increasing from a low speed and overestimating the time that can be saved when increasing from a relatively high speed. These misestimations have been shown to relate to biases in judgments of the speed required to arrive at a specific time and to choosing unduly high speed. Professional drivers, such as taxi drivers, might be less susceptible to these biases due to their increased driving experience. In the current study, we interviewed taxi drivers about a journey they were currently making and examined their estimations of journey time, average speed and time savings. Compared to a group of non-professional car drivers, taxi drivers showed the same considerable misestimations of driving speed, journey time and time savings as non-professionals. However, overestimations of time savings among taxi drivers were smaller than those made by car drivers. We discuss the practical significance of these findings.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Society for Judgment and Decision Making in its journal Judgment and Decision Making.

    Volume (Year): 7 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 2 (March)
    Pages: 165-172

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    Handle: RePEc:jdm:journl:v:7:y:2012:i:2:p:165-172

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    Keywords: speed estimations; time estimations; time-saving bias; speed choices; professional drivers.;


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    1. Devin G. Pope & Maurice E. Schweitzer, 2011. "Is Tiger Woods Loss Averse? Persistent Bias in the Face of Experience, Competition, and High Stakes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(1), pages 129-57, February.
    2. J. Edward Russo & Margaret G. Meloy & T. Jeffrey Wilks, 2000. "Predecisional Distortion of Information by Auditors and Salespersons," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(1), pages 13-27, January.
    3. Bar-Eli, Michael & Azar, Ofer H. & Ritov, Ilana & Keidar-Levin, Yael & Schein, Galit, 2005. "Action bias among elite soccer goalkeepers: The case of penalty kicks," MPRA Paper 4477, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Fox, Craig R & Rogers, Brett A & Tversky, Amos, 1996. "Options Traders Exhibit Subadditive Decision Weights," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 13(1), pages 5-17, July.
    5. Maya Bar-Hillel & David Budescu & Yigal Attali, 2005. "Scoring and keying multiple choice tests: A case study in irrationality," Mind and Society: Cognitive Studies in Economics and Social Sciences, Fondazione Rosselli, vol. 4(1), pages 3-12, 06.
    6. Eyal Peer, 2010. "Exploring the time-saving bias: How drivers misestimate time saved when increasing speed," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 5(7), pages 477-488, December.
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    Cited by:
    1. Eyal Peer & Eyal Gamliel, 2013. "Pace yourself: Improving time-saving judgments when increasing activity speed," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 8(2), pages 106-115, March.


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