Strategies for revising judgment: how (and how well) people use others' opinions.
A basic issue in social influence is how best to change one's judgment in response to learning the opinions of others. This article examines the strategies that people use to revise their quantitative estimates on the basis of the estimates of another person. The authors note that people tend to use 2 basic strategies when revising estimates: choosing between the 2 estimates and averaging them. The authors developed the probability, accuracy, redundancy (PAR) model to examine the relative effectiveness of these two strategies across judgment environments. A surprising result was that averaging was the more effective strategy across a wide range of commonly encountered environments. The authors observed that despite this finding, people tend to favor the choosing strategy. Most participants in these studies would have achieved greater accuracy had they always averaged. The identification of intuitive strategies, along with a formal analysis of when they are accurate, provides a basis for examining how effectively people use the judgments of others. Although a portfolio of strategies that includes averaging and choosing can be highly effective, the authors argue that people are not generally well adapted to the environment in terms of strategy selection.
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