When Should a Decision Maker Ignore the Advice of a Decision Aid?

03/27/2013
by   Paul E. Lehner, et al.
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This paper argues that the principal difference between decision aids and most other types of information systems is the greater reliance of decision aids on fallible algorithms--algorithms that sometimes generate incorrect advice. It is shown that interactive problem solving with a decision aid that is based on a fallible algorithm can easily result in aided performance which is poorer than unaided performance, even if the algorithm, by itself, performs significantly better than the unaided decision maker. This suggests that unless certain conditions are satisfied, using a decision aid as an aid is counterproductive. Some conditions under which a decision aid is best used as an aid are derived.

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