Dynamic Interaction in Decision Support: Effects on Perceived Diagnosticity and Confidence in Unstructured Domains

Brandon Beemer and Dawn G. Gregg
IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics: Systems, 3(1), January 2013, pp. 74-84.

The evolution of eCommerce over the past decade has resulted in a wide range of tools that enable consumers to make better decisions about the products or services that they are purchasing. One class of tools that are now widely used in a variety of eCommerce domains are mashups, which combine disparate sources of information (e.g. price, product reviews, seller reviews) to support buyer decision making. Previous academic studies examining decision support tools for eCommerce domains have focused on how these tools affect information search, consideration set size, and the impact on the quality of the decision made. This paper discusses dynamic interaction, the degree to which a user can revisit and revise their inputs and consider alternative solutions during a decision. The effects of dynamic interaction on confidence and intention was investigated in an experiment, the results of which indicated that increasing dynamic interaction increased the perceived diagnosticity (i.e., the extent to which the user believes the tool is useful to evaluate a product) of the mashup and the overall confidence in the decision. In addition, a post-hoc analysis of decision quality suggests that increased levels of dynamic interaction also improve the overall quality of the decision made.