Affiliated Organization

Indiana University, USA


This paper uses a laboratory experiment to examine the effect of DSS use on the decision maker‘s error patterns and decision quality. The DSS used in our experiments is the widely used Expert Choice (EC) implementation of the Analytic Hierarchy Process. Perhaps surprisingly, our experiments do not provide general support for the often tacit assumption that the use of a DSS such as EC improves decision quality. Rather, we find that, whereas a DSS can help decision makers develop a better understanding of the essence of a decision problem and can reduce logical errors (especially if the information load is high), it is also susceptible to introducing accidental effects such as mechanical errors. In some cases, as in our study, the accidental errors may outweigh the benefits of using a DSS, leading to lower quality decisions.