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Cognitive feedback in environments characterized by irrelevant information


  • Sengupta, K.


Research in human information processing demonstrates that the presence of irrelevant information has an adverse effect on the quality of decisions. Decision makers are unable to identify and separate the effect of irrelevant information, thereby reducing the quality of decisions. The propensity to overutilize irrelevant information is significant because present day work environments are increasingly rich in information. This study examines the comparative efficacies of two types of information--cognitive feedback and outcome feedback--in identifying irrelevant information and thereby improving decision quality. Outcome feedback is information on the accuracy of a decision. Cognitive feedback is information on the how and why underlying the accuracy. The results show that subjects provided with cognitive feedback attained significantly better identification of irrelevant information than those relying solely on outcome feedback. The use of cognitive feedback also resulted in greater accuracy and cognitive control. We discuss the implications of the results for designing decision support systems and for research in decision aiding.

Suggested Citation

  • Sengupta, K., 1995. "Cognitive feedback in environments characterized by irrelevant information," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 125-143, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jomega:v:23:y:1995:i:2:p:125-143

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Balzer, William K. & Hammer, Leslie B. & Sumner, Kenneth E. & Birchenough, Todd R. & Martens, Sandra Parham & Raymark, Patrick H., 1994. "Effects of Cognitive Feedback Components, Display Format, and Elaboration on Performance," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 58(3), pages 369-385, June.
    2. Sirkka L. Jarvenpaa, 1989. "The Effect of Task Demands and Graphical Format on Information Processing Strategies," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 35(3), pages 285-303, March.
    3. Rothstein, Howard G., 1986. "The effects of time pressure on judgment in multiple cue probability learning," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 83-92, February.
    4. O'Connor, Raymond M. & Doherty, Michael E. & Tweney, Ryan D., 1989. "The effects of system failure error on predictions," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 1-11, August.
    5. Brehmer, Berndt, 1987. "Note on subjects' hypotheses in multiple-cue probability learning," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 40(3), pages 323-329, December.
    6. Balzer, William K. & Sulsky, Lorne M. & Hammer, Leslie B. & Sumner, Kenneth E., 1992. "Task information, cognitive information, or functional validity information: Which components of cognitive feedback affect performance?," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 35-54, October.
    7. Tindale, R. Scott, 1989. "Group vs individual information processing: The effects of outcome feedback on decision making," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 454-473, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ninko Kostovski & Marjan Bojadjiev & Hari Lokvenec, 2017. "Decision Support Systems For New Project Development In Fast Moving Consumer Goods Industries," Annals - Economy Series, Constantin Brancusi University, Faculty of Economics, vol. 5, pages 4-14, October.
    2. Gerrit H. van Bruggen & Ale Smidts & Berend Wierenga, 1998. "Improving Decision Making by Means of a Marketing Decision Support System," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 44(5), pages 645-658, May.


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