- Limited Term Adjunct Lecturer
- M.A. Sociology
- Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, US
- Ph.D. Organizational behavior and systems analysis
- Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, US
- The effects of uncertainty on communication in a diffuse decision process, with an application to budgeting decisions in NASA
- B.S. Electrical engineering
- University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
Decision making by individuals, groups and organizationsComputer-based decision support systemsTechnology and creativityEmotion and decisions makingEthical decision making
Management and organizational behaviorDecision analysisJudgment and decision makingResearch methods
Strategic Decision MakngBNAD 516 (Fall 2016)
- Cooper, D. A., & Kugler, T. (2014). Lay personality theories in interactive decisions: Strong beliefs, weak evidence. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making.
- Kausel, E. (2014). Do people have accurate beliefs about behavioral consequences of incidental emotions? Evidence from trust games. Journal of Economic Psychology.
- Connolly, T., Reb, J., & Kausel, E. E. (2013). Regret salience and accountability in the decoy effect. Judgment and Decision Making, 8(2), 136-149.More infoAbstract: Two experiments examined the impact on the decoy effect of making salient the possibility of post-decision regret, a manipulation that has been shown in several earlier studies to stimulate critical examination and improvement of decision process. Experiment 1 (N = 62) showed that making regret salient eliminated the decoy effect in a personal preference task. Experiment 2 (N = 242) replicated this finding for a different personal preference task and for a prediction task. It also replicated previous findings that external accountability demands do not reduce, and may exacerbate, the decoy effect. We interpret both effects in terms of decision justification, with different justification standards operating for different audiences. The decoy effect, in this account, turns on accepting a weak justification, which may be seen as adequate for an external audience or one's own inattentive self but inadequate under the more critical review triggered by making regret possibilities salient. Seeking justification to others (responding to accountability demands) thus maintains or exacerbates the decoy effect; seeking justification to oneself (responding to regret salience) reduces or eliminates it. The proposed mechanism provides a theoretical account both of the decoy effect itself and of how regret priming provides an effective debiasing procedure for it. © 2013.
- Connolly, T., & Reb, J. (2012). Regret aversion in reason-based choice. Theory and Decision, 73(1), 35-51.More infoAbstract: This research examines the moderating role of regret aversion in reason-based choice. Earlier research has shown that regret aversion and reason-based choice effects are linked through a common emphasis on decision justification, and that a simple manipulation of regret salience can eliminate the decoy effect, a well-known reason-based choice effect. We show here that the effect of regret salience varies in theory-relevant ways from one reason-based choice effect to another. For effects such as the select/reject and decoy effect, both of which were independently judged to be unreasonable bases for deciding, regret salience eliminated the effect. For the most-important attribute effect that is judged to be normatively acceptable, however, regret salience amplified the effect. Anticipated self-blame regret and perceived decision justifiability consistently predicted preferences and thus offer a parsimonious account of both attenuation and amplification of these reason-based choice effects. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.
- Connolly, T., & Reb, J. (2012). Toward interactive, Internet-based decision aid for vaccination decisions: Better information alone is not enough. Vaccine, 30(25), 3813-3818.More infoPMID: 22234264;Abstract: Vaccination decisions, as in choosing whether or not to immunize one's small child against specific diseases, are both psychologically and computationally complex. The psychological complexities have been extensively studied, often in the context of shaping convincing or persuasive messages that will encourage parents to vaccinate their children. The computational complexity of the decision has been less noted. However, even if the parent has access to neutral, accurate, credible information on vaccination risks and benefits, he or she can easily be overwhelmed by the task of combining this information into a well-reasoned decision. We argue here that the Internet, in addition to its potential as an information source, could provide useful assistance to parents in integrating factual information with their own values and preferences - that is, in providing real decision aid as well as information aid. We sketch one approach for accomplishing this by means of a hierarchy of interactive decision aids ranging from simple advice to full-scale decision analysis. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.
- Connolly, T., & Reb, J. (2011). Regret and justification as a link from argumentation to consequentialism. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 34(2), 75-.More infoAbstract: Mercier and Sperber (M&S) argue that reasoning has evolved primarily as an adjunct to persuasive communication rather than as a basis for consequential choice. Recent research on decision-related regret suggests that regret aversion and concomitant needs for justification may underpin a complementary mechanism that can, if appropriately deployed, convert M&S's facile arguer into an effective decision maker, with obvious evolutionary advantages. © 2011 Cambridge University Press.
- Reb, J., & Connolly, T. (2010). The effects of action, normality, and decision carefulness on anticipated regret: Evidence for a broad mediating role of decision justifiability. Cognition and Emotion, 24(8), 1405-1420.More infoAbstract: Two distinct theoretical views explain the effects of action/inaction and social normality on anticipated regret. Norm theory (Kahneman & Miller, 1986) emphasises the role of decision mutability, the ease with which one can imagine having made a different choice. Decision justification theory (Connolly & Zeelenberg, 2002) highlights the role of decision justifiability, the perception that the choice was made on a defensible basis, supported by convincing arguments or using a thoughtful, comprehensive decision process. The present paper tests several contrasting predictions from the two theoretical approaches in a series of four studies. Study 1 replicated earlier findings showing greater anticipated regret when the chosen option was abnormal than when it was normal, and perceived justifiability mediated the effect. Study 2 showed that anticipated regret was higher for careless than for careful decisions. Study 3 replicated this finding for a sample holding a different social norm towards the focal decision. Finally, Study 4 found that, when decision carefulness, normality and action/inaction were all specified, only the former showed a significant effect on anticipated regret, and the effect was again mediated by perceived justifiability. Decision justification theory thus appears to provide a better account of anticipated regret intensity in this context than does norm theory. © 2010 Psychology Press.
- Reb, J., & Connolly, T. (2009). Erratum to "Myopic regret avoidance: Feedback avoidance and learning in repeated decision making" [Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 109 (2009) 182-189] (DOI:10.1016/j.obhdp.2009.05.002). Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 110(1), 65-.
- Reb, J., & Connolly, T. (2009). Myopic regret avoidance: Feedback avoidance and learning in repeated decision making. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 109(2), 182-189.More infoAbstract: Decision makers can become trapped by myopic regret avoidance in which rejecting feedback to avoid short-term outcome regret (regret associated with counterfactual outcome comparisons) leads to reduced learning and greater long-term regret over continuing poor decisions. In a series of laboratory experiments involving repeated choices among uncertain monetary prospects, participants primed with outcome regret tended to decline feedback, learned the task slowly or not at all, and performed poorly. This pattern was reversed when decision makers were primed with self-blame regret (regret over an unjustified decision). Further, in a final experiment in which task learning was unnecessary, feedback was more often rejected in the self-blame regret condition than in the outcome regret condition. We discuss the findings in terms of a distinction between two regret components, one associated with outcome evaluation, the other with the justifiability of the decision process used in making the choice. © 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
- Coughlan, R., & Connolly, T. (2008). Investigating unethical decisions at work: Justification and emotion in dilemma resolution. Journal of Managerial Issues, 20(3), 348-365.More infoAbstract: This study explores the relative impact of two categories of factors - justifications and emotions - on the ethical decisions of individuals. Subjects responding to three complex ethical dilemmas were asked (for each dilemma) to indicate what they should and would do, and to rate the relevance of ten possible justifications for their decisions. They also estimated the extent to which they would expect to feel three decision-related emotions (regret, relief, and satisfaction) if they chose each of two options we presented. Results suggest that both cognitive and emotional factors affect the formation of ethical and unethical choices. Their relative importance varies with the content of the ethical dilemma. Directions for further research and implications for both teachers and managers concerned with ethical choices are discussed.
- Bearden, J. N., & Connolly, T. (2007). Multi-attribute sequential search. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 103(1), 147-158.More infoAbstract: This article describes empirical and theoretical results from two multi-attribute sequential search tasks. In both tasks, the DM sequentially encounters options described by two attributes and must pay to learn the values of the attributes. In the continuous version of the task the DM learns the precise numerical value of an attribute when she pays to view it. In the threshold version the DM learns only whether the value of an attribute is above or below a threshold that she sets herself. Results from the continuous condition reveal that DMs tended to terminate their searches too early relative to the optimal policy. The pattern reversed in the threshold condition: DMs searched for too long. Maximum likelihood comparisons of two different stochastic decision models showed that DMs under both information conditions performed in ways consistent with the optimal policies. Those offered continuous-valued attribute information did not, however, spontaneously degrade this information into binary (acceptable/unacceptable) form, despite the theoretical finding that satisficing can be a very effective and efficient search strategy. © 2006 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
- Huang, W., Tseng, L., & Connolly, T. (2007). How multiple reference points influence managers' post-decisional regret. Social Behavior and Personality, 35(4), 487-498.More infoAbstract: Although regret is the most relevant emotion in the domain of decision making, research addressing the regrets of managers and how these are influenced by multiple reference points is lacking. In the context of a choice set with more than 2 alternatives, this study demonstrates that sales managers evaluated their postdecisional regrets based on three reference points: the best-performing unchosen outcome, the worst-performing unchosen outcome, and their expected outcome. The first 2 are social comparison-based standards and the last is a temporal comparison-based standard. Managers equally favored social comparison and temporal standard information when assessing their postdecisional regrets. In addition, it was found that the feeling of regret was largely influenced by a loss or gain relative to each reference point rather than by the degree of loss or gain. © Society for Personality Research (Inc.).
- Connolly, T., & Butler, D. (2006). Regret in economic and psychological theories of choice. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 19(2), 139-154.More infoAbstract: Numerous studies have shown that choice can be influenced by expectations of regret or disappointment (or, for positive outcomes, of rejoicing or elation). Psychological researchers measure these expectations with self-report instruments, economists infer them from observed choice behavior. The present study examines whether the emotion postulates embodied in economic choice models correspond to expected and experienced emotions as measured by self-report. In a laboratory study (n=50) of student participants playing real-money lotteries, we included questionnaire measures of expected emotions for each possible lottery outcome. These emotion measures are reliable and well behaved, and modestly predictive of actual choices. They did not, however, conform well to the specific postulates of economic choice models, though they did show some of the juxtaposition effects proposed in such models. Emotional reactions to decision outcomes may be better characterized by broad measures of positive and negative affect than as nuanced mixtures of distinct emotions. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
- Connolly, T., & Reb, J. (2005). Regret and the control of temporary preferences. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 28(5), 653-654.More infoAbstract: Regret is often symptomatic of the defective decisions associated with "temporary preference" problems. It may also help overcome these defects. Outcome regret can modify the relative utilities of different payoffs. Process regret can motivate search for better decision processes or trap-evading strategies. Heightened regret may thus be functional for control of these self-defeating choices. © 2005 Cambridge University Press.
- Connolly, T., & Reb, J. (2005). Regret in cancer-related decisions. Health Psychology, 24(4 SUPPL.), S29-S34.More infoPMID: 16045415;Abstract: Decision-related regret is a negative emotion associated with thinking about a past or future choice. The thinking component generally takes the form of a wish that things were otherwise and involves a comparison of what actually did or will take place with some better alternative-a "counterfactual thought." For predecisional (anticipated) regret, the thinking involves a mental simulation of the outcomes that might result from different choice options. Prior research has focused on regret associated with decision outcomes, addressing especially (a) the comparison outcome selected and (b) whether the outcome resulted from action or inaction. More recent research examines regret associated with the choice itself and with the preceding decision process. Interest here has focused on the justifiability of the choice made or the process used. In this article, the authors review current regret research and propose directions for extending it to cancer-related decisions. Copyright 2005 by the American Psychological Association.
- Aytes, K., & Connolly, T. (2004). Computer security and risky computing practices: A rational choice perspective. Journal of Organizational and End User Computing, 16(3), 22-40.More infoAbstract: Despite rapid technological advances in computer hardware and software, insecure behavior by individual computer users continues to be a significant source of direct cost and productivity loss. Why do individuals, many of whom are aware of the possible grave consequences of low-level insecure behaviors such as failure to backup work and disclosing passwords, continue to engage in unsafe computing practices? In this article we propose a conceptual model of this behavior as the outcome of a boundedly-rational choice process. We explore this model in a survey of undergraduate students (N = 167) at two large public universities. We asked about the frequency with which they engaged in five commonplace but unsafe computing practices, and probed their decision processes with regard to these practices. Although our respondents saw themselves as knowledgeable, competent users, and were broadly aware that serious consequences were quite likely to result, they reported frequent unsafe computing behaviors. We discuss the implications of these findings both for further research on risky computing practices and for training and enforcement policies that will be needed in the organizations these students will shortly be entering.
- Connolly, T., & Jochen, R. (2003). Omission bias in vaccination decisions: Where's the "omission"? Where's the "bias"?. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 91(2), 186-202.More infoAbstract: Several studies have reported that parents are often reluctant to vaccinate their own or other people's children, even when the balance of health risks and benefits clearly favors vaccination. This reluctance has been interpreted as a manifestation of "omission bias", a general tendency to prefer inactive to active options even when inaction leads to worse outcomes or greater risks. The research raises significant public health concerns as well as worries about human decision biases in general. In this paper we argue that existing research on vaccination decisions has not convincingly demonstrated any general reluctance to vaccinate nor has it made the case that such a tendency, if found, would constitute a bias. We identify several conceptual and methodological issues that, we argue, cloud interpretation of earlier studies. In a new questionnaire-based study (Experiment 1) we examined the vaccination decisions of undergraduate students (N = 103) and non-student adults (N = 192). In both groups a clear majority chose to vaccinate when disease and vaccination risks were balanced. Experiments 2 and 3 identify several problems associated with the measures used in earlier studies, and show how these problems could have led to the misleading appearance of majority anti-vaccination preferences. In our data, vaccination intentions appear to be less a function of generalized preferences for action or inaction than they are of the regret respondents expect to feel if vaccination or non-vaccination were to lead to a poor outcome. Regret-avoiding choices led some respondents to favor vaccination, others to oppose it. In two follow-up studies, few respondents mentioned action or inaction per se in explaining their choices. We conclude that there is no convincing evidence that a generalized "omission bias" plays any important role in vaccination decisions. © 2003 Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved.
- Connolly, T., & Zeelenberg, M. (2002). Regret in decision making. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 11(6), 212-215.More infoAbstract: Decision research has only recently started to take seriously the role of emotions in choices and decisions. Regret is the emotion that has received the most attention. In this article, we sample a number of the initial regret studies from psychology and economics, and trace some of the complexities and contradictions to which they led. We then sketch a new theory, decision justification theory (DJT), which synthesizes several apparently conflicting findings. DJT postulates two core components of decision-related regret, one associated with the (comparative) evaluation of the outcome, the other with the feeling of self-blame for having made a poor choice. We reinterpret several existing studies in DJT terms. We then report some new studies that directly tested (and support) DJT, and propose a number of research issues that follow from this new approach to regret.
- Coughlan, R., & Connolly, T. (2001). Predicting Affective Responses to Unexpected Outcomes. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 85(2), 211-225.More infoAbstract: In decisions under uncertainty, decision makers confront two uncertainties: the uncertain linkage between actions and outcomes and the uncertain linkage between these outcomes and his or her affective responses to them. The two studies reported here examine affective responses to expected and unexpected outcomes in various settings. In Study 1, a scenario-based laboratory experiment (N = 149), we examined subjects' predicted responses to a range of outcomes, as a function of how surprising the outcome was. Study 2, a field study (N = 127), involved the expectations of bowlers about their scores in an upcoming game and about their responses to various outcomes at, above, and below expectations. We also measured actual affective reactions after the bowlers had completed their games. Findings suggest that subjects both expect and experience a loss-averse, expectation-based value function broadly of the Prospect Theory type. They also anticipate, and experience, an amplifying effect of outcome surprise, though they underestimate its size. We argue that such underestimation, together with overtight prediction ranges, may expose subjects to much larger affective variation with outcome variability than they anticipate. © 2001 Academic Press.
- Burns, L. R., Connolly, T., & DeGraaff, R. A. (1999). Impact of physicians' perceptions of malpractice and adaptive changes on intention to cease obstetrical practice. Journal of Rural Health, 15(2), 134-146.More infoPMID: 10511749;Abstract: Physicians who provide obstetrical care in rural areas face exposure to liability action and confront a critical decision whether to continue to offer these services. This paper draws upon social-psychological and decision theories to investigate this decision. Ninety-four percent of all obstetricians and family and general physicians practicing in the 12 nonmetropolitan counties of one state responded to a mail survey that asked about their intention to continue or discontinue obstetrical practice, two dimensions of subjective risk (perceived likelihood of threats in the malpractice environment and perceived magnitude of negative consequences from being sued), and adaptive changes to protect against malpractice. The results suggest that (a) perceived extent of negative consequences (but not perceived likelihood of malpractice threats) drives intention to leave obstetrics, (b) the professional and reputational impacts of a suit - not the dollar amount of award or settlement - predicts intention to stop practicing obstetrics, and (c) physicians planning to continue providing obstetrical care in the future have made recent practice changes that may further exacerbate access problems.
- Connolly, T. (1999). Action as a fast and frugal heuristic. Minds and Machines, 9(4), 479-496.More infoAbstract: Decision making is usually viewed as involving a period of thought, while the decision maker assesses options, their likely consequences, and his or her preferences, and selects the preferred option. The process ends in a terminating action. In this view errors of thought will inevitably show up as errors of action; costs of thinking are to be balanced against costs of decision errors. Fast and frugal heuristics research has shown that, in some environments, modest thought can lead to excellent action. In this paper we extend this work to situations in which action is taken after little or no thought. We show that these `highly active' or `decision cycles' processes can lead to excellent results at the cost of almost no thought. The paper examines the settings in which this effectiveness is possible, and lists a number of environmental features that are required for decision cycles to work well. Several research directions for analytical, laboratory, and field-based research are identified.
- Connolly, T., & Dean, D. (1997). Decomposed versus holistic estimates of effort required for software writing tasks. Management Science, 43(7), 1029-1045.More infoAbstract: We examine decision analysis' central "decomposition principle" in the context of work-time estimates of software writers. Two experiments examined the abilities of advanced programming students to estimate how long they would take to complete specific software projects. They estimated their own work times both for entire projects and for their constituent subtasks. Estimates showed varying degrees of overoptimism and overpessimism but all were much too tight, with almost half of actual outcomes falling in the 1 % tails of estimated distributions. This overtightness was unaffected by task decomposition, question wording, question order, or training in estimation. It was, however, significantly reduced by a procedure aimed at inducing generous upper and lower plausible limits. An underlying model of incomplete search is used to connect these findings to existing themes in cognition and judgment research, as well as to practical application. The findings suggest that the best level of decomposition at which to elicit work-time estimates may depend on task, judge, and elicitation method.
- Geller, S. E., & Connolly, T. (1997). The influence of psychosocial factors on heart transplantation decisions and outcomes.. Journal of transplant coordination : official publication of the North American Transplant Coordinators Organization (NATCO), 7(4), 173-179.More infoPMID: 9510730;Abstract: In January 1990, a well-established heart transplant program added a psychosocial evaluation procedure to its medical evaluation of potential transplant recipients. To determine the predictive value of psychosocial evaluation for decisions to list patients for a transplant and for ultimate clinical outcomes, we reviewed records of 191 patients who underwent psychosocial evaluation in the subsequent 3 years. Informal prescreening for obvious psychopathology and other disqualifiers almost certainly restricted the ranges of psychosocial factors observed in the sample. Of 120 patients listed, 61 actually received transplants. Psychosocial factors were little used in deciding whether to list the patients and were not predictive of recipients' medical outcome or compliance, but were moderately predictive of complication rates and difficulty of managing patients after transplantation. Although psychosocial evaluation of prescreened potential transplant recipients has little value in predicting medical outcome, it may be useful for planning and scheduling care after transplantation.
- Connolly, T., & Srivastava, J. (1995). Cues and Components in Multiattribute Evaluation. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 64(2), 219-228.More infoAbstract: Multiattribute additive evaluation models largely ignore the causal structure connecting attributes and overall evaluations. We propose here a distinction between two such causal structures. In "cue-type" tasks, attributes reflect or indicate the value of a distal variable measuring all or part of the entity′s worth. In "component-type" tasks, attributes are themselves the constitutive elements of worth. Attributes of the two kinds should be combined differently. Results are reported from two experiments in which the verbal context was manipulated so as to induce either cue-type or component-type interpretations of identical attribute sets. The data strongly suggest that subjects are sensitive to the distinction and respond in theoretically appropriate ways. © 1995 Academic Press. All rights reserved.
- Srivastava, J., Connolly, T., & Beach, L. R. (1995). Do Ranks Suffice? A Comparison of Alternative Weighting Approaches in Value Elicitation. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 63(1), 112-116.More infoAbstract: We compared both attribute weights and overall evaluations for students′ preferences among apartments described to them in terms of nine independent attributes. Methods used for eliciting attribute weights were (a) 7-point scales; (b) value hierarchy; (c) swing weights; and two methods using importance rankings only: (d) rank order centroid and (e) rank sum weights. Multiple linear regression was also used to infer attribute weights. Test-retest reliability of overall evaluations was found to be modest. Evaluation models based on all five weight elicitation methods were superior to an equal weights model, with rank order centroid weights modestly superior to other methods. © 1995 Academic Press. All rights reserved.
- Connolly, T., & Åberg, L. (1993). Some contagion models of speeding. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 25(1), 57-66.More infoPMID: 8420535;Abstract: Drivers' decisions on whether or not to speed are only partially predicted by attitudes towards speeding, beliefs about the consequences of speeding, and police efforts to enforce speed restrictions. We propose that a significant role may be played by drivers' comparisons of their own speed with that of other, nearby drivers. Such comparisons may lead to self-amplifying, nonintuitive consequences at the aggregate level. We present several simple models of these social contagion processes and demonstrate analytical strategies for tracing their implications. We also present some preliminary data suggesting that significant contagion effects exist. Finally, we outline some promising directions for research on contagion effects, and trace their implications for enforcement efforts. © 1993.
- Geller, S. E., & Connolly, T. (1993). The influence of psychosocial factors in the heart transplantation decision process.. Journal of health care chaplaincy, 5(1-2), 33-43.More infoPMID: 10129261;
- Geller, S. E., Beach, L. R., & Connolly, T. (1993). The treatment perspectives of physicians, citizens, and state legislators. Hospital and Health Services Administration, 38(3), 419-428.More infoPMID: 10128123;Abstract: This study addresses the dilemma of physicians to act both as an agent of their patients and as an agent of society. We contrasted the perceptions of physicians, citizens at large, and state legislators about 11 topics related to physician decision making regarding the management of care for seriously ill patients. Significant and interpretable differences were found between physicians and citizens, although there were no differences between these two groups and the state legislators. However, even the obtained differences were fewer and smaller than expected. These results suggest that lay, legislative, and medical viewpoints may be less at odds with each other than the literature would suggest, and reaching an accord on at least some aspects of health policy may not be as difficult as generally is assumed.
- Jessup, L. M., Connolly, T., & Galegher, J. (1990). The effects of anonymity on GDSS group process with an idea-generating task. MIS Quarterly: Management Information Systems, 14(3), 313-321.More infoAbstract: This study examines the influence of anonymity on group process in groups using a group decision support system (GDSS) with an idea-generating task. Group members whose contributions were anonymous generated more comments, were more critical and probing, and were more likely to embellish ideas proposed by others than were those whose contributions were identified by name. Implications for group support research are discussed.
- Earley, P., Connolly, T., & Ekegren, G. (1989). Goals, Strategy Development, and Task Performance: Some Limits on the Efficacy of Goal Setting. Journal of Applied Psychology, 74(1), 24-33.More infoAbstract: Specific, difficult goals enhance performance in many tasks. We hypothesize, however, that this effect disappears or reverses for novel tasks that allow multiple alternative strategies. We report findings from three laboratory experiments using a stock market prediction task with these characteristics. In the first study, 34 students made predictions concerning the value of 100 companies' stock based on three manipulated cues after receiving either a "do your best" or a specific, difficult goal (come within $10 of the actual stock price) concerning the accuracy of their predictions. In the second study, 88 students making stock market predictions received one of the following goals: do your best, specific-easy (come within $30), specific-moderate (come within $20), specific-hard (come within $10), or a tapering, specific goal (decreasing from $30 to $10 in $5 increments every 20 predictions). Finally, the third study (n = 30) replicated the first study by using a different prediction algorithm for the stock market simulation. The results of repeated measures multivariate analyses of variance conducted on indexes of prediction accuracy and predictor weightings supported the hypothesis that specific, difficult goals (prediction accuracy) increase an individual's strategy search activity and reduce prediction accuracy for the stock predictions.
- Connolly, T. (1988). Chapter 12 Studies of Information-Purchase Processes. Advances in Psychology, 54(C), 401-425.
- Connolly, T., & Wholey, D. R. (1988). Information mispurchase in judgment tasks: A task-driven causal mechanism. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 42(1), 75-87.More infoAbstract: Numerous studies of predecisional information purchase indicate that humans are often seriously suboptimal in balancing the costs and benefits of the information they purchase. Underpurchase is reported in some tasks, over-purchase in others, but no convincing account has been offered of the mechanisms producing these patterns of error. The present paper attempts such an account. We first show by computer simulation that simple hill-climbing algorithms reliably reproduce patterns of over-and underpurchase found in earlier studies, and identify the task characteristics that drive this result. We then specify a novel task that should, by this account, yield a new pattern of purchase error and demonstrate that both simulated and real subjects do, in fact, show such error patterns. Implications are drawn both for research strategy in the area and for practical application. © 1988.
- Connolly, T. (1987). Decision theory, reasonable doubt, and the utility of erroneous acquittals. Law and Human Behavior, 11(2), 101-112.
- Connolly, T., & Thorn, B. K. (1987). Predecisional information acquisition: Effects of task variables on suboptimal search strategies. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 39(3), 397-416.More infoAbstract: Effective overall performance in judgment tasks generally involves both acquisition of information and integration of the information acquired. When information is costly the decision maker must balance acquisition costs against improved decisional accuracy, a complex balancing problem in which, laboratory evidence suggests, humans often do poorly. The three experiments reported here extend this earlier evidence to different task structures, subject pools, incentive systems, information volumes, decision aids, and kind of data sources. Though each of these factors was found to affect performance, the general finding was of persistent underpurchase (buying less information overall than is optimal) and mispurchase (buying poor sources when better sources are available at the same cost), with significant inflation of overall costs. It is proposed that unaided human judgment is unequal to the complexity of the cost/benefit trade-offs involved in acquiring costly information, and that formal decision analysis should be preferred whenever the stakes justify. © 1987.
- Connolly, T., & Serre, P. (1984). Information search in judgment tasks: The effects of unequal cue validity and cost. Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, 34(3), 387-401.
- Connolly, T., & Gilani, N. (1982). Information search in judgment tasks: A regression model and some preliminary findings. Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, 30(3), 330-350.More infoAbstract: Previous studies of predecisional information search have predominantly drawn on Bayesian models for normative guidance. An analogous model for the continuous-variable case, in which the judge may purchase one or more items of costly but imperfect information to guide a decision in which errors are also costly, is presented. Results are reported for two experiments using a task based on this model. The findings indicate that information acquisition and use are influenced by several normatively irrelevant task characteristics as well as by appropriate normative factors and that departures from optimality may be quite large. Implications for further research are suggested. © 1982.
- Leatherwood, M. L., & Connolly, T. (1982). EXPERIMENTING ORGANIZATION: TOWARDS AN ACHIEVABLE DESIGN.. Proceedings - Annual Meeting of the American Institute for Decision Sciences, 2, 50-52.
- Porter, A. L., Connolly, T., Heikes, R. G., & Park, C. Y. (1981). Misleading indicators: The limitations of multiple linear regression in formulation of policy recommendations. Policy Sciences, 13(4), 397-418.More infoAbstract: Multiple linear regression is widely used in empirically-based policy analysis. The central argument of the present paper is that much of this use is inappropriate, not because of the multiple linear regression methodology, but because of the nature of the data used. Too often analysts are carried beyond justified inferences into assertions for which there is essentially no sound defense, leading to policy recommendations of dubious provenance. Four alternative classes of policy interpretations are posited: mere description of data sets, simple prediction, causal models, and causal predictive models. Policy analysis finds statements from the last kind most useful, while multiple linear regression analysis of passively observed data is best suited to supporting statements of the first kind. The paper examines the inferential logic and technical issues that arise as one moves through the four classes. The paper then considers the role multiple linear regression of passively observed data can properly play in policy analysis and suggests alternative approaches. © 1981 Elsevier Scientific Publishing Company.
- Connolly, T., & Deutsch, S. J. (1980). Performance measurement: Some conceptual issues. Evaluation and Program Planning, 3(1), 35-43.More infoAbstract: Measures of how well a system is operating are clearly of interest to a wide range of users, from organizational researchers to system managers. The current literatures in such areas as "performance measurement, " "organizational effectiveness, " and the like show little consistency in their definitions of terms or in their methods for generating measures. The present paper attempts a clarification of these issues in the form of a conceptual minimalist position which requires only three basic definitions, and leaves, as far as possible, all remaining issues open to empirical investigation. We first review the literature on "organizational effectiveness" contrasting the organizational goals and systems paradigms, and note the lack of either theoretical or empirical convergence between the two. An examination of the nature of effectiveness statements suggests that this failure of convergence flows mainly from the different criterion sets generated by the two paradigms - and, importantly, that one should not expect convergence on a single measure or set of measures which uniquely define how well a system is performing. One's view of how well a given system is performing is a function of where one stands (either theoretically or in relationship to the system), and pursuit of the one true set of performance measures is a futile exercise. Instead, we propose to redirect attention to the identification of the various individuals and groups ("constituencies") with an interest in system performance, and to the investigation of those items of system relevant information (their "performance measure sets") which do, in fact, change their evaluations of how well the system is performing. This perspective will, we hope, redirect effort from futile theoretical debate to empirical investigations of what measures are used, by whom, and to what effect, in specific settings. © 1980.
- Connolly, T., & Porter, A. L. (1980). A user-focused model for the utilization of evaluation. Evaluation and Program Planning, 3(2), 131-140.More infoAbstract: It is proposed that the present low level of utilization of evaluation findings is traceable in part to their failure to address directly the information needs of a clearly specified decision maker. An alternative model proceeding from such specification is proposed here, with evaluation closely interwoven with the on-going innovation process. The model suggests a number of implications for the organizational role of evalutors, for the design of evaluations, and for directions for methodological development. In particular, we suggest that evaluation designs be assessed against possible "threats to utility" as well as against the traditional "threads to validity.". © 1980.
- Connolly, T., & Porter, A. L. (1980). DOCTORAL DISSERTATION - HOW RELEVANT?. Engineering education, 71(2), 162-166.More infoAbstract: Doctoral training of engineers has been criticized as a poor grounding for professional practice. The authors' study of Electrical Engineers doctorates reveals support for current dissertation practices and for the doctoral experience in general. This article reports the results for the sample of electrical engineers included in the larger study.
- Porter, A. L., Rossini, F. A., Chubin, D. E., & Connolly, T. (1980). Between disciplines . Science, 209(4460), 966-.
- Connolly, T., Porter, A. L., & Rossini, F. A. (1979). On the evaluation of assessment and assessments. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 15(1), 73-76.
- Connolly, T., & Burks, E. L. (1977). WOMEN IN SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING: CHARACTERISTICS AND EXPERIENCES OF ESTABLISHED PROFESSIONALS.. Journal of Engineering Education, 32(12), 234-240.More infoAbstract: The research reported here was motivated by the belief that, in the fields of science and engineering, the woman professional represents a critically underdeveloped and underutilized national resource; that there exist pressing economic and legal reasons, as well as growing social and moral pressures, for attempting to correct this situation; and that effective corrective action will require and improved understanding of the factors and mechanisms that currently result in low levels of professional involvement by women in these areas. The immediate objective of the present research is to improve our understanding of the working woman professional in science and engineering.
- Connolly, T. (1975). COMMUNICATION NETS AND UNCERTAINTY IN R&D PLANNING.. IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, EM-22(2), 50-54.More infoAbstract: Results of an empirical study of 115 participants in R&D planning in a large Federal Government agency are reported. Two hypotheses were tested, examining the relationship between type of work planned and (a) the participants' perceived uncertainties and (b) the centralization of the decision-related communication net. The data indicate that perceived uncertainties tend to be lower, and communications nets more centralized, as work planned becomes more applied. Secondary findings indicate that increased decentralization of the decision-related communication net may be an adaptive response to organizational decision problems of high uncertainty. Further research is suggested, and some general implications for the working manager are identified.
- Connolly, T., & Deane, R. H. (1975). BEHAVIORAL ISSUES IN PRODUCT SAFETY PLANNING.. Prof Saf, 20(7), 12-16.More infoAbstract: The unique decision-making features of product safety planning are discussed. Two behavioral techniques, Delphi and brainstorming, are described as possible aids in managerial planning for product safety.
- Lewis, A. C., Sadosky, T. L., & Connolly, T. (1975). EFFECTIVENESS OF GROUP BRAINSTORMING IN ENGINEERING PROBLEM SOLVING.. IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, EM-22(3), 119-124.More infoAbstract: A number of claims have been made for the effectiveness of group brainstorming as a means of enhancing creativity in problem solving groups, and the technique has been quite widely used for this purpose. There is, however, little solid evidence for the superiority of group to pooled individual brainstorming. This paper reviews the available evidence, and reports three new experiments evaluating group brainstorming for engineering problems, using executives as well as student subjects, group sizes of 2, 4, and 6, time periods of 50 and 90 minutes, and mixtures of group and individual work. The findings extend and support the previous evidence of the ineffectiveness of group brainstorming for engineering problems. The pooling of individual brainstorming efforts appears to be the preferred procedure. 22 refs.