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The Effect of Task Demands and Graphical Format on Information Processing Strategies


  • Sirkka L. Jarvenpaa

    (College and Graduate School of Business, University of Texas, Austin, Texas 78712-1175)


The designers of decision support systems lack theoretically based principles for designing graphical interfaces. The purpose of the reported research is to take a step toward developing such principles for graphical information presentation formats. Specifically, this paper presents an investigation of the effects of graphical formats and task demands upon decision processes and decision outcomes. In a laboratory setting, research participants made choices under differing task and graphical format conditions, and their information acquisition and evaluation behaviors were recorded. The results suggest that information presentation format influences the decision time and the selection of acquisition and evaluation strategies by influencing the cognitive costs and benefits of the task environment. Other factors influencing the decision time and the choice of strategies include the characteristics of the task and the interactions between the presentation format and the other task demands. The interactions between the task demands and the graphical format appear to be complex and may impact different stages of decision process differently (e.g., acquisition versus evaluation). The findings of the current study extend the results of previous studies on information format into the domain of graphical displays. The findings also suggest that the cognitive cost/benefit framework can provide a robust theoretical foundation for design decisions regarding graphical presentation formats in decision support systems.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:35:y:1989:i:3:p:285-303

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    Cited by:

    1. Meissner, Jens O., 2005. "Relationship Quality in the Context of Computer-Mediated Communication - A social constructionist approach," Working papers 2005/15, Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel.
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    4. Butler, David J., 1998. "A choice-rule formulation of intransitive utility theory," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 323-329, June.
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    6. Lupia, Arthur & Grafstrom, Cassandra & Krupnikov, Yanna & Levine, Adam Seth & MacMillan, William & McGovern, Erin, 2008. "How “Point Blindness” Dilutes the Value of Stock Market Reports," MPRA Paper 8191, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Cabiddu, Francesca & Carlo, Manuela De & Piccoli, Gabriele, 2014. "Social media affordances: Enabling customer engagement," Annals of Tourism Research, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 175-192.
    8. Gogi, Anastasia & Tako, Antuela A. & Robinson, Stewart, 2016. "An experimental investigation into the role of simulation models in generating insights," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 249(3), pages 931-944.
    9. O'Keefe, Robert M., 2016. "Experimental behavioural research in operational research: What we know and what we might come to know," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 249(3), pages 899-907.
    10. Lupia, Arthur & Grafstrom, Cassandra & Krupnikov, Yanna & Levine, Adam Seth & MacMillan, William & McGovern, Erin, 2007. "Loonies Under Your Bed: Misdirected Attention and the Diluted Value of Stock Market Reports," MPRA Paper 4912, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Butler, D. J., 2000. "Do non-expected utility choice patterns spring from hazy preferences? An experimental study of choice 'errors'," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 277-297, March.
    12. Christoph Huber & Juergen Huber, 2018. "Scale matters: Risk perception, return expectations, and investment propensity under different scalings," Working Papers 2018-15, Faculty of Economics and Statistics, University of Innsbruck.
    13. Jaeki Song & Fatemeh Mariam Zahedi, 2005. "A Theoretical Approach to Web Design in E-Commerce: A Belief Reinforcement Model," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 51(8), pages 1219-1235, August.
    14. Lurie, Nicholas H. & Swaminathan, Jayashankar M., 2009. "Is timely information always better? The effect of feedback frequency on decision making," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 108(2), pages 315-329, March.
    15. repec:eee:jouret:v:90:y:2014:i:4:p:511-523 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Sengupta, K., 1995. "Cognitive feedback in environments characterized by irrelevant information," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 125-143, April.
    17. Adrian Hillenbrand & André Schmelzer, 2015. "Beyond Information: Disclosure, Distracted Attention, and Investor Behavior," Discussion Paper Series of the Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods 2015_20, Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods.
    18. Neeraj Arora & Xavier Dreze & Anindya Ghose & James Hess & Raghuram Iyengar & Bing Jing & Yogesh Joshi & V. Kumar & Nicholas Lurie & Scott Neslin & S. Sajeesh & Meng Su & Niladri Syam & Jacquelyn Thom, 2008. "Putting one-to-one marketing to work: Personalization, customization, and choice," Marketing Letters, Springer, vol. 19(3), pages 305-321, December.
    19. Orlikowski, Wanda J. (Wanda Janina)., 2003. "The duality of technology : rethinking the concept of technology in organizations," Working papers #105, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
    20. Zhang, Jiao & Hsee, Christopher K. & Xiao, Zhixing, 2006. "The majority rule in individual decision making," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 102-111, January.


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