How much information is too much? A comparison of decompositional and holistic strategies

Norma P Fernandez, University of Texas at El Paso

Abstract

Decompositional strategies require complex decisions to be broken down into smaller parts and have been contrasted with holistic strategies, which require that the decision maker performs the necessary tradeoffs between attributes in their mind. Past research has found that as decisions become more complex, temporal stability of holistic strategies deteriorates at a faster rate than decompositional strategies (Morera & Budescu, 1998). However, manipulations of decision complexity in prior studies have been limited. The effect of decision complexity (defined as increasing the number of attributes in a decision problem) on temporal stability and convergent validity of both strategies was assessed in a pilot study. Results from the pilot study guided the experimental design of the thesis project, where decision complexity was manipulated in terms of the number of attributes and of stimuli in the decision problem. Results partially confirmed the temporal stability and convergent validity for a measure of distance between values spaced one week apart. However, when the dependent variable was a transformed measure of linear association, holistic strategy outperformed decompositional strategies. ^

Subject Area

Psychology, Experimental

Recommended Citation

Fernandez, Norma P, "How much information is too much? A comparison of decompositional and holistic strategies" (2006). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1435337.
http://digitalcommons.utep.edu/dissertations/AAI1435337

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