from “Investigating Value-based Decision Bias and Mediation: Do You Do As You Think?

by Dianne J. Hall and David Paradice

The ability to see the big picture is often marred by the strengths of one’s individual values, particularly as they relate to the problem at hand. Because individual values are deep-seated, they often form the basis for decision bias – that is, the inability to expand the lens through which one observes the world. This myopia leads to inefficiencies in information collection and assessment.

In this study, the DSS debiasing component forced participants to articulate both good and bad points of a given problem or alternative, thus forcing consideration of at least two perspectives.

This research suggests it is possible, through a system component such as that developed here, to change the behavior of decision makers at least for a specific decision domain. Supporting a decision maker’s consideration of multiple perspectives will, at least temporarily, broaden their perspective base and will result in that individual considering a greater number of perspectives during that decision task.

Sustainopedia, or useful microcontributions

I was filling out a survey for Grist and found myself writing the following in the comments section:

In question #6, you pose the following for people to respond to: “Passively reading is so 20th century; Grist should publish content I can interact with (comment on it, vote in polls, rank its value, etc.).” I said I was neutral about this, but I want to explain. Of course there is great opportunity with getting user involvement (Web 2.0 and all that), but I think just another place where users can post comments is not what the world needs. I would LOVE for you to be the hub of a system that accrued the knowledge of your readers over time. Something that either built up profiles of products (based on opinion and or hard fact) that could then be used by people browsing (or by systems on the web) to help people make purchasing decisions OR otherwise collected environmental info (Sustainopedia?) in at least a narrative form, but ideally in a (however flawed) structured format (or semi-structured, such as RDF [see Semantic Web]) that would then become a resource for our culture. So, I guess I REALLY would like you to publish content I can interact with, but I don’t just want another place where the sea of opinion never amounts to much. I want you to provide the structure for people to make something cool that gives back to the world.