Decisions With Uncertainty: The Glass Half Full

Joslyn, S. & LeClerc, J. (2013). Decisions With Uncertainty: The Glass Half Full. Current Directions in Psychological Science August 2013 vol. 22 no. 4 308-315.

Abstract: Each of us makes important decisions involving uncertainty in domains in which we are not experts, such as retirement planning, medical treatment, and precautions against severe weather. Often, reliable information about uncertainty is available to us, although how effectively we incorporate it into the decision process remains in question. Previous research suggests that people are error-prone when reasoning with probability. However, recent research in weather-related decision making is more encouraging. Unlike earlier work that compares people’s decisions with a rational standard, this research compares decisions made by people with and without uncertainty information. The results suggest that including specific numeric uncertainty estimates in weather forecasts increases trust and gives people a better idea of what to expect in terms of both the range of possible outcomes and the amount of uncertainty in the particular situation, all of which benefit precautionary decisions. However, the advantage for uncertainty estimates depends critically on how they are expressed. It is crucial that the expression is compatible with both the decision task and cognitive processes of the user.

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(Something interesting I found)Posted:Aug 01 2013, 12:00 AM by brendah
  • Force said:

    In the work of Milton Erickson he often provided timelines to his patients. It is not uncommon for a patient in physical or psychological distress (uncertainty) to experience a distortion of time -- that is one does not know when the current situation will improve or get better. It was Erickson's view that giving these timelines would allow the patient to gain a perception of control over how long things might be in this state of uncertainty. He would add to the timeline certain events, often vaguely stated, so there would be a connection between action by the patient and the timeline segments he suggested.

    While Erickson often did this in trance states he used it with frequency in normal conversation. It is remarkable how much control one can suddenly experience over a situation that just prior was seen as out of control and impossible to overcome

    Works with 12 year old boys who are overwhelmed with homework and feel pushed to the limits on time when they have had 5 days to do the homework and are now starting it the day before is it due

    Very interesting and wish I could read the entire article


    February 26, 2014 11:18 AM
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