Business decision makers were asked to evaluate and use various information reports, as might be supplied by an information system, in several decision making scenarios. Multi-dimensional scaling was utilized to detect underlying perceptual dimensions of the information (differentiation ability), and to assess the importance or salience placed on each of these various dimensions (discriminant ability). Preference mapping was utilized to assess the underlying decision rules used by the decision makers in using the various information items in decision making tasks. As expected, individual differences were found with respect to differentiation, discrimination, and integration abilities. However, further analysis demonstrated that relatively homogeneous groupings of decision makers could be formed which utilized information in decision making in a similar manner. The implications of the study indicate that information systems designers need to consider the cognitive characteristics of decision makers, and that information reports may be ' tailored to relatively cognitively homogeneous groups of design makers who perceive information in the same manner.
Watkins, Paul R., "A Measurement Approach to Cognitive Complexity and Perception of Information: Implications for information Systems Design" (1981). ICIS 1981 Proceedings. 29.