Information Order and Outcome Framing: An Assessment of Judgment Bias in a Naturalistic Decision-Making Context
AbstractFindings that decision makers can come to different conclusions depending on the order in which they receive information have been termed the "information order bias." When trained, experienced individuals exhibit similar behaviors; however, it has been argued that this result is not a bias, but rather, a patternmatching process. This study provides a critical examination of this claim. It also assesses both experts' susceptibility to an outcome framing bias and the effects of varying task loads on judgment. Using a simulation of state-of-the-art ship defensive systems operated by experienced, active-duty U.S. Navy officers, we found no evidence of a framing bias, while task load had a minor, but systematic effect. The order in which information was received had a significant impact, with the effect being consistent with a judgment bias. Nonetheless, we note that patternmatching processes, similar to those that produce inferential and reconstructive effects on memory, could also explain our results. Actual or potential applications of this research include decision support system interfaces or training programs that might be developed to reduce judgment bias.