Cognitive Feedback in GDSS: Improving Control and Convergence
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Cognitive feedback in group decision making is information that provides decision makers with a better understanding of their own decision processes and that of the other group members. It appears to be an effective aid in group decision making. Although it has been suggested as a potential feature of group decision support systems (GDSS), little research has examined its use and impact. This article investigates the effect of computer generated cognitive feedback in computer-supported group decision processes. It views group decision making as a combination of individual and collective activity. The article tests whether cognitive feedback can enhance control over the individual and collective decision making processes and can facilitate the process of convergence among group members. In a laboratory experiment with groups of three decision makers. 15 groups received online cognitive feedback and 15 groups did not. Users receiving cognitive feedback maintained a higher level of control over the decision-making process as their decision strategies converged. This research indicates that (1) developers should include cognitive feedback as an integral part of the GDSS at every level, and (2) they should design the human-computer interaction so there is an intuitive and effective transition across the components of feedback at all levels. Researchers should extend the concepts explored here to other models of conflict that deal with ill-structured decisions, as well as study the impact of cognitive feedback over time. Finally, researchers trying to enhance the capabilities of GDSS should continue examining how to take advantage of the differences between individual, interpersonal, and collective decision making.
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