Information systems and in particular decision support systems have been developed to supplement human information processing and to assist with decision-making. Human decision-making is facilitated by the often unconscious use of heuristics or rules of thumb in situations where it may not be possible or feasible to search for the best decision. Judgemental heuristics have previously been found to lead to biases in decision-making. When information systems are used as decision aids, they may have an influence on biases. This study investigates the possible role of information systems in introducing, reinforcing or reducing biases of decision-making. It has been found that information systems have the ability to introduce new biases and to reinforce biases. Information systems can also reduce biases, but this requires innovate thinking on the way information is represented and the way human decision-making processes are supported. It has also been found that in the real world, other than the laboratories where biases are usually measured, other constraints on rational decision-making, such as politics or data errors, can overshadow the effects of biases.
Dissertation (MPhil)--University of Pretoria, 2003.