Daily Horizons: Evidence of Narrow Bracketing in Judgment from 10 Years of MBA-Admission Interviews
18 Pages Posted: 31 May 2012
Date Written: May 22, 2012
Many professionals, from auditors and lawyers, to clinical psychologists and journal editors, divide continuous flows of judgments into subsets. College admissions interviewers, for instance, evaluate but a handful of applicants a day. We conjectured that in such situations individuals engage in narrow bracketing, assessing each subset in isolation, and then avoid deviating much – for any given subset – from the expected overall distribution of judgments. For instance, an interviewer who has already highly recommended three applicants on a given day may be reluctant to do so for a fourth applicant. Data from over 9000 MBA interviews supported this prediction. Auxiliary analyses suggest that contrast effects and non-random scheduling of interviews are unlikely alternative explanations.
Keywords: Judgment, decision making, interviews, narrow bracketing, choice
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