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Decisions among time saving options: When intuition is strong and wrong
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2007 (English)In: Acta PsychologicaArticle in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

When people judge the time that can be saved by increasing the speed of doing something, they are often victims of a time saving bias. That is, they overestimate the time that can be saved by increasing the speed. Judgments of time savings following speed increase when driving follow the Proportion heuristic (Svenson, 1970). In a choice between time saving options, this heuristic simplifies to the Ratio rule. The first study shows that the Ratio rule predicts incorrect decisions in road traffic planning to save traveling time. The second study shows that the time saving bias is also present in planning of health care; to specify, in decisions about which one of two clinics to reorganize to save more of the doctors' time for personal contacts with patients. To further test the Ratio rule, Study 3 used a matching procedure in which two decision alternatives were made equal by the participants. The results supported the Ratio rule. Practical implications of the results are discussed including the Planning fallacy. In conclusion, the present set of studies have illustrated a time saving bias and provided evidence explaining why people make systematic errors when judging and deciding about time saved following a speed increase.

Keywords: Time saving bias, Planning fallacy, Proportion heuristic, Ratio rule, time saving, driving.

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URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-19701OAI: diva2:186225
Available from: 2007-11-15 Created: 2007-11-15 Last updated: 2011-01-11Bibliographically approved

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