Hour of Judgment: On judgment, decision making, and problem solving under accountability Defended on Thursday, 1 July 2021

Accurate judgment, adaptive decision making, and ability to find insightful solutions to challenging problems are some of the key qualities organizations aspire to instill in their members. In the service of this goal, designers of management systems draw on a variety of approaches, ranging from formal contracts to subtle “nudges.” At the core of many of these approaches is the idea of accountability, the use of external scrutiny to bring about desired behavior and outcomes. How should accountability be implemented to elicit optimal performance from individuals? Does scrutinizing the process the accountable individual is using tend to yield more accurate judgments and decisions than focusing strictly on the outcome? Does the answer depend on the nature of the decision environment? Does the answer hold in the domain of problems that call for insightful solutions? What are the cognitive and affective mechanisms that mediate the differences in performance between process accountability and outcome accountability? Are these effects robust or do they depend on currently insufficiently understood moderating factors? This dissertation reports the results of a series of behavioral experiments designed to shed light on these and related questions.


Accountability; process accountability; outcome accountability; multiple-cue judgment; insight problem solving; decision-making strategies

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