ERIC Number: ED160513
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978
Reference Count: 0
When Information Is Constant, How Do Feople Decide: The Relative Effects of Affect and Information on Decision Making.
Dantico, Marilyn K.
This study examines the relative effects of information on problem solving. An introductory section discusses theoretical approaches to problem solving. The major portion of the paper describes the author's research. In her study, subjects were asked to read a court transcript from a criminal case, to give their verdict in the case, and to recommend an appropriate sentence if necessary. Finally, subjects were asked which aspects of the transcript they considered most important in making their decisions. Each group of subjects received the same basic account of an assault and battery incident, with variables being defendent's race, presence of defense witness, and sex of plaintiff. Results indicated that subjects were more likely to favor a feamle plaintiff's case and less likely to favor the plaintiff when a witness testified. However, if a male was charged with assautling a female, the presence of a witness had no effect. White assailants were more likely to be found guilty than blacks when the plaintiff was a male. Most subjects reached what was considered the correct verdict. However, subjects who did not list material facts as being most important were three times more likely to err in judgement. The experimental treatment demonstrates that the characteristics of information sources interfere with problem solving. Source credibility is particularly important. Subjects often find it difficult to disregard their feelings about individuals when making decisions. (BC)
Descriptors: Affective Behavior, Analysis of Covariance, Analysis of Variance, Behavioral Science Research, Conflict Resolution, Court Litigation, Decision Making, Expectancy Tables, Information Utilization, Problem Solving, Racial Attitudes, Research Methodology, Reverse Discrimination, Sex Discrimination, Social Bias, Statistical Analysis
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association (New York, New York, August 31-September 3, 1978); Not available in hard copy from EDRS due to poor reproducibility of original document