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Intuitive theories of information: beliefs about the value of redundancy

Author: Soll, Jack B. INSEAD Area: Technology and Operations Management Series: Working Paper ; 98/01/TM Publisher: Fontainebleau : INSEAD, 1998.Language: EnglishDescription: 54 p.Type of document: INSEAD Working Paper Online Access: Click here Abstract: In many situtations, quantity estimates from multiple experts or diagnostic instruments must be collected and combined. Normatively, one should value information sources that are both accurate and nonredundant (i.e., one should minimize correlation in forecast errors). Past research has produced conflicting results with respect to preferences for redundant information. This paper shows that this preference depends on the interaction between one's intuitive theory of information and one's belief about the situation-specific error generating process. Manipulations of the perceived source of error (e.g. measurement error vs. systematic bias) lead people to prefer more or less redundancy in predictable ways. Addiditionally, science training is associated with having an intuitive theory that matches the normative model, whereas statistical training is not
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In many situtations, quantity estimates from multiple experts or diagnostic instruments must be collected and combined. Normatively, one should value information sources that are both accurate and nonredundant (i.e., one should minimize correlation in forecast errors). Past research has produced conflicting results with respect to preferences for redundant information. This paper shows that this preference depends on the interaction between one's intuitive theory of information and one's belief about the situation-specific error generating process. Manipulations of the perceived source of error (e.g. measurement error vs. systematic bias) lead people to prefer more or less redundancy in predictable ways. Addiditionally, science training is associated with having an intuitive theory that matches the normative model, whereas statistical training is not

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