An Effort Feedback Perspective on Persuasive Decision Aids for Multi-Attribute Decision-Making

Publication: Scientific journalJournal articlepeer-review


Decision strategies and the level of cognitive effort humans devote to decision-making are highly sensitive. This study investigates the role of feedback interventions in decision aids (DAs) to direct the user’s attention and consequently increase the level of effort spent on the thinking in multi-attribute selection problems. Guided by four research hypotheses, we conducted an experiment with two groups, one with feedback enabled, the other one with it disabled, and provide post hoc click data analysis. The self-developed persuasive DA used in the experiment featured a continuous feedback mechanism based on the users investment of time. This DA led the users through a smartphone decision scenario with altering levels of complexity. Results show that normative effort feedback increases the decision maker’s willingness to spend more effort. We provide new evidence supporting the view that DAs should pay more attention to soft persuasion by guiding the decision maker towards working harder rather than only confronting the user with final recommendations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161 - 181
JournalInternational Journal of Information Technology & Decision Making
Issue number01
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Austrian Classification of Fields of Science and Technology (ÖFOS)

  • 502050 Business informatics
  • 504007 Empirical social research
  • 102015 Information systems

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