Featured Product
This Week in Quality Digest Live
Management Features
Maria Guadalupe
A new study suggests that investing in soft skills will result in higher individual—and national—productivity
Christopher Dancy
Not binding, not enforceable, but a step in the right direction
Jake Mazulewicz
There isn’t one magic bullet, but rather a ‘consolidation of subtleties’
Scott Ginsburg
A balancing act between getting new technology and bringing it to your people
Donna McGeorge
Halve the time and double the impact of your meetings

More Features

Management News
Connects people and processes across functional silos with a digital thread for innovation
Better manufacturing processes require three main strategies
Technical vs. natural language processing
Recognized as best-in-class industry technology by Printing United Alliance
It’s unethical for companies to use test tasks as free labor
Numerous new USB3 cameras added to product roster
Combines quality and process data from software and devices in holistic production-monitoring view

More News

Quality Digest


The Cognitive Shortcut That Can Cloud Decision Making

While many executives believe themselves immune, research says otherwise.

Published: Wednesday, September 7, 2022 - 10:59

(PR Newswire: Cambridge, MA) -- According to research released in MIT Sloan Management Review, inaccurate or false information, if repeated often enough, can result in an illusion of truth, thereby placing executive decision-making at risk.

Researchers from Esade Business School, Purdue University, and University of Cologne have pooled their findings and outlined strategies for organizations to combat this illusory truth effect—the phenomenon that repeating false information can create at least an illusion of truth.

In the world of corporate decision-making, the proliferation of misinformation hurts organizations in many ways. Leaders can find themselves on the receiving end of falsified data, facts, and figures. Misinformation, regardless of whether it was mistakenly passed along or shared with ill intent, is a common occurrence in this digital age. “One of the most important challenges leaders face in the digital age is preventing inaccurate data, false information, and pseudo-fact,” notes Katharina Schmid, an associate professor at Esade Business School at Ramon Llull University. “Leaders bear a double responsibility in fighting the illusory truth effect; they must combat it for their teams, employees, and companies but also for their own personal reputations.” “The illusory truth effect occurs effortlessly, but effort is necessary to combat it,” says Jonas De Keersmaecker, postdoctoral researcher at Esade Business School. “While its negative effects can never be fully avoided, its influence can be limited through diligence and a focus on accuracy.” These strategies aim to create lasting and sustainable value for companies and their clients: Avoid the bias blind spot. Understand the illusory truth effect and accept that leaders are as vulnerable to it as anyone else. Avoid epistemic bubbles. Foster an environment in which opposing and differing perspectives can be generated, and where they are openly discussed. Question facts and assumptions. Develop an accuracy mindset with an emphasis on evaluating whether information fits one’s knowledge. Promote a culture where the default is to consider the truthfulness of new information when it arises. Foster external fact-checking to ensure that information used in decision-making has been verified. Nudge the truth. Repeat true and relevant information. Prepare to respond with facts and repetition, repetition, repetition. Managers today contend with incorrect and unreliable information at unparalleled scale. Beware of bias blind spots, maintain an accuracy mindset, perform external fact-checking, and don’t get stuck in an epistemic bubble. The article “The Cognitive Shortcut That Clouds Decision-Making” was first published Aug. 17, 2022, by The MIT Sloan Management Review (MIT SMR).


About The Author

Quality Digest’s picture

Quality Digest

For 40 years Quality Digest has been the go-to source for all things quality. Our newsletter, Quality Digest, shares expert commentary and relevant industry resources to assist our readers in their quest for continuous improvement. Our website includes every column and article from the newsletter since May 2009 as well as back issues of Quality Digest magazine to August 1995. We are committed to promoting a view wherein quality is not a niche, but an integral part of every phase of manufacturing and services.