ERIC Number: EJ853458
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Sep
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Effects of Problem Frame and Gender on Principals' Decision Making
Miller, Paul M.; Fagley, Nancy S.; Casella, Nancy E.
Social Psychology of Education: An International Journal, v12 n3 p397-413 Sep 2009
Research indicates people's decisions can sometimes be influenced by seemingly trivial differences in the "framing" (i.e., wording) of alternative options. The tendency to prefer risk averse options when framed positively and risky options when framed negatively is known as the framing effect. The current study examined the susceptibility of school principals to the framing effect. Additionally, analytical and intuitive decision styles, the degree to which one's typical goal is to maximize (rather than satisfice), gender, and years of experience as a principal were measured to assess whether they are predictive of principals' choices, and to test whether they moderate the effects of framing on choice. Seventy-one principals completed six decision problems (framed either positively or negatively) and instruments assessing decision style, typical decision goal, gender, and experience. Analyses demonstrated that principals are influenced by framing. Although the positively and negatively framed versions of the decision problems were objectively identical, negative framing resulted in more risky choices. Additionally, regardless of frame, men made more risky choices than women. There was no evidence that experience, decision style, or the degree to which one's typical decision goal was to maximize, decreased framing effects. Several potential debiasing strategies are described, and limitations are noted.
Descriptors: Decision Making, Principals, Gender Differences, Risk, Administrator Characteristics, Administrator Behavior, Intuition, Predictor Variables, Measures (Individuals), Behavior Theories, Educational Administration
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
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