Date of this Version
Journal of Behavioral Decision Making
Abundant experimental research has documented that incidental primes and emotions are capable of influencing people's judgments and choices. This paper examines whether the influence of such incidental factors is large enough to be observable in the field, by analyzing 682 actual university admission decisions. As predicted, applicants' academic attributes are weighted more heavily on cloudier days and non‐academic attributes on sunnier days. The documented effects are of both statistical and practical significance: changes in cloud cover can increase a candidate's predicted probability of admission by an average of up to 11.9%. These results also shed light on the causes behind the long demonstrated unreliability of experts making repeated judgments from the same data.
This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Simonshohn, U. Clouds Make Nerds Look Good: Field Evidence of the Impact of Incidental Factors on Decision Making. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making 20, no. 2: 143-152, which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bdm.545.
This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving: https://authorservices.wiley.com/author-resources/Journal-Authors/licensing-open-access/licensing/self-archiving.html.
naturalistic decision making, incidental emotions, priming, college admissions, weather, feature priming, bootstrapped experts, field data
Simonsohn, U. (2007). Clouds Make Nerds Look Good: Field Evidence of the Impact of Incidental Factors on Decision Making. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 20 (2), 143-152. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/bdm.545
Date Posted: 15 June 2018
This document has been peer reviewed.