An effort based analysis of the paradoxical effects of incentives on decision-aided performance

Janet A. Samuels, Stacey Whitecotton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examines the effect of incentives on decision-aided performance. In particular, the study provides further insight into whether, when, and how incentives affect task performance in the presence of decision aids by (1) replicating previous research showing the negative effects of incentives on performance; (2) investigating whether this effect generalizes to a more realistic scenario in which decision makers have access to additional contextual information not captured by the decision aid; and (3) applying an effort-based framework to explain the link between incentives and performance. In contrast to the findings of prior research, our study shows that incentives do not necessarily decrease performance in the presence of decision aids. Rather, we demonstrate that the effect of incentives on decision-aided performance depends on other contextual factors such as the absence or presence of additional contextual information. By further specifying the conditions under which incentives result in increases or decreases to decision-aided task performance, our results have implications for both future research and the design of incentive systems in practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)345-360
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Behavioral Decision Making
Volume24
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2011

Keywords

  • Decision aids
  • Decision making
  • Effort
  • Incentives
  • Performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Decision Sciences(all)
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Strategy and Management

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