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Abstract

Decision makers’ initial and continued use of information technology has traditionally been viewed as a mindful and intentional behavior. However, when a decision aid makes mostly correct recommendations, its users may become complacent. That is, users may accept recommendations without mindfully considering the recommendations or involvement with the aid. As such, they may be more likely to accept inaccurate recommendations. We draw on dual-processing theory to describe why users might behave in a mindless and complacent rather than mindful manner when using a decision aid. In our experimental investigation, we manipulated the accuracy of the recommendations provided by a decision aid and observe users’ performance on a complex decision task. Using the decision aid, participants completed five task trials. To assess complacency and intentionality, we compared subjective (i.e., self-report) and objective (i.e., gaze data via an eye tracker) use measures. Our analysis and comparison of the subjective and objective responses indicate that, contrary to widespread theorizing, decision aid usage and continuance appear to be less intentional than commonly believed. Further, we found that a decision aid’s users can be vulnerable to complacency even when recommendations are known to be inaccurate. Based on the findings of our study, we offer theoretical and practical implications regarding complacency and intentionality in technology use.

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