טכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל
הטכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל - בית הספר ללימודי מוסמכים  
M.Sc Thesis
M.Sc StudentMichal Amir
SubjectThe Effects of the Inter-Decision Interval and Memory on the
Weighting of Rare Events in Decisions from
Experience
DepartmentDepartment of Industrial Engineering and Management
Supervisor Full Professor Erev Ido
Full Thesis textFull thesis text - English Version


Abstract

Previous research has highlighted four distinct contributors to the experience-description gap (the observation that people exhibit oversensitivity to rare events in decisions from description and the opposite bias in decisions from experience). These contributors include the nature of small samples, the mere presentation effect, the belief that the environment is dynamic, and overgeneralization of the outcomes of decisions based on estimated risks. This research explores the role of two additional possible contributors to the experience-description gap, namely the effect of inter-decision delay and memory limitations on the tendency to underweight rare events in decisions from experience. Three new experiments demonstrate that a long deliberation period before making the decision slightly increases the weighting of rare events. This pattern was documented in decisions purely from experience, as well as in cases in which subjects could rely on description and experience. In addition, the results show that the existence of distraction tasks during the delay reduces the weighting of rare events. In order to evaluate the role of memory limitation seen in decision from experience, memory ability was correlated with the tendency to underweight rare events. A marginally significant positive correlation was found. This does not support memory limitation as a contributor to the underweighting bias.