The value of action and inference in dynamic decision making

Don N. Kleinmuntz, James B. Thomas

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52 Scopus citations


The use of action- versus judgment-oriented decision strategies in a dynamic decision task is investigated. Subjects engaged in a simulated medical decision-making task, where the goal is to select treatments in order to cure patients suffering from an unknown disease. The experiment manipulated two task factors that were predicted to influence the effectiveness and efficiency of action- and judgment-oriented strategies: (1) the availability of a decision aid that promotes the interpretability of outcome feedback in the task and (2) the level of risk associated with treatment choices, which influences the opportunity for corrective actions to compensate for earlier decision errors. Results indicated that these manipulations did in fact influence performance. However, most subjects did not use action-oriented strategies even when they would have led to superior performance. Possible explanations for this finding are discussed and the implications for theoretical accounts of strategy acquisition and selection are considered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)341-364
Number of pages24
JournalOrganizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1987

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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