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      Is it time for studying real-life debiasing? Evaluation of the effectiveness of an analogical intervention technique


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          The aim of this study was to initiate the exploration of debiasing methods applicable in real-life settings for achieving lasting improvement in decision making competence regarding multiple decision biases. Here, we tested the potentials of the analogical encoding method for decision debiasing. The advantage of this method is that it can foster the transfer from learning abstract principles to improving behavioral performance. For the purpose of the study, we devised an analogical debiasing technique for 10 biases (covariation detection, insensitivity to sample size, base rate neglect, regression to the mean, outcome bias, sunk cost fallacy, framing effect, anchoring bias, overconfidence bias, planning fallacy) and assessed the susceptibility of the participants ( N = 154) to these biases before and 4 weeks after the training. We also compared the effect of the analogical training to the effect of ‘awareness training’ and a ‘no-training’ control group. Results suggested improved performance of the analogical training group only on tasks where the violations of statistical principles are measured. The interpretation of these findings require further investigation, yet it is possible that analogical training may be the most effective in the case of learning abstract concepts, such as statistical principles, which are otherwise difficult to master. The study encourages a systematic research of debiasing trainings and the development of intervention assessment methods to measure the endurance of behavior change in decision debiasing.

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            This article reviews the now extensive research literature addressing the impact of accountability on a wide range of social judgments and choices. It focuses on 4 issues: (a) What impact do various accountability ground rules have on thoughts, feelings, and action? (b) Under what conditions will accountability attenuate, have no effect on, or amplify cognitive biases? (c) Does accountability alter how people think or merely what people say they think? and (d) What goals do accountable decision makers seek to achieve? In addition, this review explores the broader implications of accountability research. It highlights the utility of treating thought as a process of internalized dialogue; the importance of documenting social and institutional boundary conditions on putative cognitive biases; and the potential to craft empirical answers to such applied problems as how to structure accountability relationships in organizations.
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                Author and article information

                Front Psychol
                Front Psychol
                Front. Psychol.
                Frontiers in Psychology
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                04 August 2015
                : 6
                1Institute of Psychology, Eotvos Lorand University Budapest, Hungary
                2Paris Descartes University Paris, France
                3Corvinus University of Budapest Budapest, Hungary
                Author notes

                Edited by: Andrew M. Parker, Research and Development Corporation, USA

                Reviewed by: Fabio Del Missier, University of Trieste, Italy; Jeffrey Loewenstein, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA; Richard P. Larrick, Duke University, USA

                *Correspondence: Balazs Aczel, Institute of Psychology, Eotvos Lorand University, Izabella utca 46, Budapest 1064, Hungary, aczel.balazs@ 123456ppk.elte.hu

                This article was submitted to Cognition, a section of the journal Frontiers in Psychology

                Copyright © 2015 Aczel, Bago, Szollosi, Foldes and Lukacs.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                Page count
                Figures: 2, Tables: 3, Equations: 0, References: 106, Pages: 13, Words: 0
                Funded by: European Union and the State of Hungary
                Funded by: European Social Fund in the framework of TÁMOP
                Award ID: A/1-11-1-2012-0001
                Funded by: Hungarian Scientific Research Fund – OTKA
                Award ID: 105421
                Funded by: ENP Graduate Program fellowship
                Original Research


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