How Free From Bias Are Our Decisions? Problems of Information Overload


  • G. R. Dirkin


Decision-making, memory, attention, information overload, judgmental biases, decision making aids


Decision-makers, expert and novice alike, are limited in their ability to process information. Because of these limitations, humans constantly employ strategies to simplify their world. Attempts to reduce the amount of information to be processed in making decisions result in systematically biased judgments and progressive shifts away from optimal performance. Central to these processing limitations are the finite capacities of the working memory and attention. This article will examine the weaknesses in working memory and attention, discuss potential biases in decision-making, and briefly outline available decision-making aids to combat these effects. Conclusions imply that load and rate of information can adversely effect decision-making at much lower levels than is generally recognized.?





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