Decisional Variance

  • George Wright


This chapter presents a selective review of studies of individual and situational influences on decision making that have been reported in the psychological and management journals. Various decision situations have been studied, various correlates of decision making have been obtained, and various decision styles have been proposed. The major difference between studies has been the relative emphasis on the decision maker or the decision situation as the main source of behavioral variation. Such research has implications for the design of management decision support systems.


Decisional Variance Subjective Probability Cognitive Style Risk Taking Decision Situation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Adorno, T. C., Frenkel-Brunswick, E., Levinson, P. J., & Sanford, R. N. (1950). The authoritarian personality. New York: Harper.Google Scholar
  2. Alker, H. A. (1971). Relevance of person perception to clinical psychology. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 37, 167–176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bochner, S. (1965). Defining intolerance of ambiguity. Psychological Record, 15, 393–400.Google Scholar
  4. Bowers, K. S. (1973). Situationism in psychology. An analysis and a critique. Psychological Review, 80, 309–336.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brightman, H. J., & Urban, T. F. (1974). The influence of the dogmatic personality upon infor-mation processing: A comparison with a Bayesian information processor. Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, 11, 266–276.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Budner, S. (1962). Intolerance of ambiguity as a personality variable. Journal of Personality, 30, 29–50.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Casey, C. J. (1980). The usefulness of accounting ratios for subjects’ predictions of corporate failure: Replication and extensions. Journal of Accounting Research, 18, 603–613.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Cattell, R. B. (1946). The description and measurement of personality. New York: World Books.Google Scholar
  9. Coombs, C. H., & Pruitt, D. G. (1960). Components of risk in decision making: Probability and variance preferences. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 60, 265–277.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Davis, D. L. (1982). Are some cognitive types better decision makers than others? An empirical investigation. Human Systems Management, 3, 165–172.Google Scholar
  11. Driver, M. (1971). Integrative Style Test. Unpublished manuscript, University of Southern California, Los Angeles.Google Scholar
  12. Driver, M. J. (1974). Decision style and its measurement. Unpublished manuscript, Graduate School of Business Administration, University of Southern California, Los Angeles.Google Scholar
  13. Driver, M. J., & Mock, T. J. (1975, July). Human information processing, decision style theory, and accounting systems. The Accounting Review, pp. 490–508.Google Scholar
  14. Edwards, W. Behavioral decision theory. (1961). Annual Review of Psychology, 12, 473–498.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Endler, N. S. (1966). Estimating variance components from mean squares for random and mixed effects analysis of variance models. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 22, 559–570.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Endler, N. S. (1975). The case for person-situation interactions. Canadian Psychological Review, 16, 319–329.Google Scholar
  17. Endler, N. S., & Hunt, J. McV. (1968). S-R Inventories of hostility and comparisons of the proportions of variance from persons, responses, and situations for hostility and anxiousness. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 9, 309–315.Google Scholar
  18. Endler, N. S., & Hunt, J. McV. (1969). Generalizability of contributions from sources of variance in the S-R investigations of anxiousness. Journal of Personality, 37, 1–24.Google Scholar
  19. Ertel, S. (1972). Erkenntnis und dogmatismus. Psychologische Rundschau, 23, 241–269.Google Scholar
  20. Filer, R. S., Maitel, S., & Simon, J. (1978). Risk-taking and risk aversion: A game simulation of stock market behavior. Unpublished manuscript, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ.Google Scholar
  21. Guildford, J. P. (1959). Personality. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  22. Hogarth, R. M. (1975). Cognitive processes and the assessment of subjective probability distributions. Journal of the American Statistical Association, 70, 271–294.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Huber, G. P. (in press). Cognitive style as a basis for MIS and DSS designs: Much ado about nothing? Management Science.Google Scholar
  24. Jackson, D. N., Hournany, L., & Vidmar, N. J. (1972). A four dimensional interpretation of risk taking. Journal of Personality, 40, 483–501.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Kahneman, D., & Tversky, A. (1982). The psychology of preferences. Scientific American, 39, 136–142.Google Scholar
  26. Kogan, N. & Wallach, M. A. (1960). Certainty of judgment and evaluation of risk. Psychological Reports, 6, 207–213.Google Scholar
  27. Kozlowski, C. (1977). Demand for stimulation and probability preferences in gambling decisions. Polish Psychological Bulletin, 8, 67–73.Google Scholar
  28. Lichtenstein, S., & Slovic, P. (1971). Reversals of preference between bids and choices in gambling decisions. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 89, 46–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Lichtenstein, S., Fischhoff, B., & Phillips, L. D. (1977). Calibration of probabilities: The state of the art. In H. Jungermann & G. de Zeeuw (Eds.), Decision making and change in human affairs. Amsterdam: D. Reidel.Google Scholar
  30. McClelland, D. C. (1951). Personality. New York: Dryden.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. McGhee, W., Shields, M. D., & Birnberg, J. G. (1978, July). The effect of personality on a subject’s information processing. The Accounting Review, pp. 681–697.Google Scholar
  32. Mclnish, T. H. (1982). Individual investors and risk-taking. Journal of Economic Psychology, 2, 125–136.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Mischel, W. (1968). Personality and assessment. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  34. Myers, I. B. (1982). Manual: The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Princeton, NJ: Educational Testing Service.Google Scholar
  35. Nisbett, R. E. (1977). Interaction versus main effect as goal of personality research. In D. Magnusson & N. S. Endler (Eds.). Personality at the crossroads. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  36. Olweus, D. (1977). A critical analysis of the “modern” interactionist position. In D. Magnusson & N. S. Endler (Eds.), Personality at the crossroads. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  37. Payne, J. W. (1982). Contingent decision behavior. Psychological Bulletin, 92, 382–402.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Peterson, C. R., & Beach, L. R. (1967). Man as an intuitive statistician. Psychological Bulletin, 68, 29–46.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Phillips, L. D., & Edwards, W. (1966). Conservatism in a simple probability inference task. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 72, 346–354.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Pitz, G. F. (1977). Decision making and cognition. In H. Jungermann & G. de Zeeuw (Eds.), Decision making and change in human affairs. Amsterdam: D. Reidel.Google Scholar
  41. Plax, T. G., & Rosenfeld, L. B. (1976). Correlates of risky decision-making. Journal of Personality Assessment, 40, 413–418.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Rokeach, M. (1960). The open and closed mind. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  43. Schoemaker, P. J. H. (1979). The rate of statistical knowledge in gambling decisions: Moment versus risk dimension approaches. Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, 24, 1–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Sells, S. B. (Ed.). (1963). Stimulus determinants of behavior. New York: Ronald.Google Scholar
  45. Simon, H. A. (1957). Models of man: Social and national. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  46. Slovic, P. (1962). Convergent validation of risk-taking measures. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 65, 68–71.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Slovic, P. (1964). Assessment of risk taking behavior. Psychological Bulletin, 61, 330 - 333.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Slovic, P. (1966). Value as a determiner of subjective probability. IEEE Transactions in Human Factors in Electronics, 7, 22–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Slovic, P. (1972). From Shakespeare to Simon: Speculations—and some evidence—about man’s ability to process information. Oregon Research Institute Bulletin, (12).Google Scholar
  50. Souief, M. I. (1958). Extreme responses set as measures of intolerance of ambiguity. British Journal of Psychology, 49, 329–333.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Steiner, J., Jarvis, M., & Parrish, J. (1970). Risk-taking and arousal regulation. British Journal of Medical Psychology, 43, 333–348.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Svenson, O. (1983). Decision rules and information processing in decision making. In L. Sjoberg, T. Tyszka, & J. A. Wise (Eds.), Human decision making. Bodafors, Sweden: Doxa.Google Scholar
  53. Taylor, R. N. (1972). An empirical investigation of managerial information-processing strategies. Proceedings of the American Institute of Decision Science, 10, 54–57.Google Scholar
  54. Taylor, R. N., & Dunnette, M. D. (1974). Relative contribution of decision-maker attributes to decision processes. Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, 12, 286–298.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Tversky, A. (1967). Additivity, utility and subjective probability. Journal of Mathematical Psychology, 4, 175–210.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Tversky, A., & Kahneman, D. (1971). Belief in the law of small numbers. Psychological Bulletin, 76, 105–110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Tversky, A., & Kahneman, D. (1974). Judgment about uncertainty: Heuristics and biases. Science, 185, 1124–1131.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Wachtel, P. (1973). Psychodynamics, behavior therapy and the implacable experimenter: An enquiry into the consistency of personality. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 8, 324–334.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Wright, G. N., & Phillips, L. D. (1979). Personality and probabilistic thinking. British Journal of Psychology, 70, 295–303.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Wright, G. N., & Phillips, L. D. (1984). Decision making: Cognitive style or task-related behavior? In H. Bonarius, G. van Heck, & N. Smid (Eds.), Personality psychology in Europe. Lisse: Swets & Zeitlinger.Google Scholar
  61. Zmud, R. W. (1979). Individual differences and MIS success: A review of empirical literature. Management Science, 25, 966–979.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • George Wright
    • 1
  1. 1.Decision Analysis Group, Department of PsychologyCity of London PolytechnicLondonEngland

Personalised recommendations