Rajani Ganesh Pillai, PhD presented her paper titled, “Screening under conditions of preference uncertainty", in the Winter School on Bounded Rationality in Karnataka, India, in January. The Winter School is organized conducted by the Max Planck Institute for Human Development. Her paper won the second place in the poster and speed talk presentations, and the judges were prominent scholars in the area of judgment and decision making.
Research on screening alternatives in decision-making has shown that decision makers use either an inclusion (choice-based) or exclusion (rejection-based) strategy. We investigate how perceived preference uncertainty influences the choice of screening strategies. We show that decision makers with high perceived uncertainty choose exclusion screening strategy because they believe it is more thorough and will help them overcome their lack of clear preferences and make better decisions. We explicate the perceived uncertainty – screening strategy relationship in a series of four studies. These findings have important implications in a wide variety of decision contexts that are laden with uncertainty and where the final choice carries lasting and sometimes irrevocable consequences.