A User's Guide to Debiasing
Wiley-Blackwell Handbook of Judgment and Decision Making, Gideon Keren and George Wu (Editors), Forthcoming
42 Pages Posted: 19 Jun 2014 Last revised: 20 Jun 2014
Date Written: June 17, 2014
Decades of research have yielded an array of debiasing strategies that can improve judgments and decisions across a wide range of settings in fields such as business, medicine, and policy. And, of course, debiasing strategies can improve our personal decisions as well. The purpose of this chapter is to provide a guide to these strategies. We begin with a brief discussion of the sources of bias in decision making. It helps to know how poor decisions arise in order to generate insights about how to improve them. This discussion is followed by a section on decision readiness which refers to whether an individual is in a position to make a good decision in a particular situation. Intense emotional states, fatigue, and poor decision-related skills (e.g., being innumerate) can all contribute to a lack of decision readiness. We then turn to a review of debiasing techniques, organized according to whether they modify the person or the environment. We close with a discussion of six considerations in choosing which debiasing method to apply.
Keywords: judgment, decision making, bias, debiasing, nudges
JEL Classification: D03
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation