Compatibility and the Use of Information Processing Strategies
Selart, M., Gärling, T., & Montgomery, H. (1998) Compatibility and the use of information processing strategies. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 11, 59-72.
15 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2012
Date Written: September 28, 2012
When a prominent attribute looms larger in one response procedure than in another, a violation of procedure invariance occurs. A hypothesis based on compatibility between the structure of the input information and the required output was tested as an explanation of this phenomenon. It was also compared with other existing hypotheses in the field. The study had two aims: (1) to illustrate the prominence effect in a selection of preference tasks (choice, acceptance decisions, and preference ratings); (2) to demonstrate the processing differences in a matching procedure versus the selected preference tasks. Hence, verbal protocols were collected in both a matching task and in subsequent preference tasks. Silent control conditions were also employed. The structure compatibility hypothesis was confirmed in that a prominence effect obtained in the preference tasks was accompanied by a lower degree of attention to the attribute levels in these tasks. Furthermore, as predicted from the structure compatibility hypothesis, it was found that fewer comparisons between attribute levels were performed in the preference tasks than in the matching task. It was therefore concluded that both these processing differences may explain the occurrence of the prominence effects.
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