Confidence Judgments as Expressions of Experienced Decision Conflict

Risk, Decision and Policy, Vol. 5, pp. 69-100, 2000

Posted: 23 Nov 2008

See all articles by Elke U. Weber

Elke U. Weber

Columbia Business School - Management & Psychology

Ulf Bockenholt

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Denis Hilton

University of Toulouse

Brian Wallace

University College London - Centre for Economic Learning and Social Evolution (ELSE)

Date Written: 2000

Abstract

This study tested between two interpretations of confidence in diagnostic hypotheses: expected probability of being correct and conflict experienced during the diagnostic process. Physicians generated hypotheses for case histories with two plausible diagnoses, one having a higher population base rate but less severe clinical consequences than the other. Case information indicative of the two diagnoses was varied. Generation proportions for the two diagnoses and confidence judgments both deviated from the predictions of a Bayesian belief model, but in different ways. Generation of a hypothesis increased with diagnosis-consistent information and diagnosis base rates, but was not reduced by diagnosis-inconsistent information. Confidence was sensitive to both consistent and inconsistent information, but was not very sensitive to diagnosis base rates. Physician characteristics also affected hypothesis generation and confidence differentially. Female doctors had lower confidence in their diagnoses than male doctors, yet there were no gender differences in hypothesis generation. Experience affected hypothesis generation monotonically via the increased availability of previously diagnosed cases, while confidence first increased and then decreased with doctors' experience. The results are consistent with an interpretation of confidence judgments as an expression of decision conflict rather than an indication of likely diagnosis accuracy.

Suggested Citation

Weber, Elke U. and Bockenholt, Ulf and Hilton, Denis and Wallace, Brian, Confidence Judgments as Expressions of Experienced Decision Conflict (2000). Risk, Decision and Policy, Vol. 5, pp. 69-100, 2000. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1304755

Elke U. Weber (Contact Author)

Columbia Business School - Management & Psychology ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

Ulf Bockenholt

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Denis Hilton

University of Toulouse ( email )

41 Allées Jules Guesde - CS 61321
TOULOUSE
France

Brian Wallace

University College London - Centre for Economic Learning and Social Evolution (ELSE) ( email )

Gower Street
London WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

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