Perceiving outcomes as determined by external forces: The role of event construal in attenuating the outcome bias
Date of Issue2015
College of Business (Nanyang Business School)
People view the same decision as better when it is followed by a positive outcome than by a negative outcome, a phenomenon called the outcome bias. Based on the idea that a key cause of the outcome bias is people’s failure to appreciate that outcomes are in part determined by external forces, three studies tested a novel method to reduce the outcome bias. Experiment 1 showed that people who construed a person’s interactions with the environment as events rather than as actions or choices were less susceptible to the outcome bias in a medical decision making task. Experiments 2 and 3 demonstrated that people who recalled past events rather than actions or choices exhibited lower outcome bias in a risky decision making task and in an ethical judgment task. These findings indicate that an event construal helps people appreciate the role of external factors in causing outcomes.
Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
© 2015 Elsevier. This is the author created version of a work that has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication by Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier. It incorporates referee’s comments but changes resulting from the publishing process, such as copyediting, structural formatting, may not be reflected in this document. The published version is available at: [http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.obhdp.2015.05.002].