Tell me something I don't know: How perceived knowledge influences the use of information during decision making

AbstractWe are often confronted with new causal information about the world, such as what causes a disease. What we think we know may influence if and how we choose to use this new information. Yet as prior work has shown, we are not always successful evaluators of our own knowledge. We explored how helping people better understand what they know about a domain can influence their ability to use new causal information in a decision-making context. Participants self-assessed (Experiment 1) or completed an objective assessment of (Experiment 2) their knowledge of diabetes, before making diabetes-related decisions, either with or without new causal. Without a knowledge assessment, participants were less accurate with new causal information compared to without, replicating previous work. However, reassessing their knowledge increased participants' decision-making accuracy. We discuss why helping people realize the limits of their causal understanding may make them better supplement it with new information.

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