Controlling Framing Effects for Web-Based Group Decision Support Systems
Alfurhood, Badria Sulaiman
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The way the proposal and the available alternatives are presented or framed for a group decision may alter the ultimate group decision. Strategic framing is an attack method used to manipulate people into irrationally preferring a particular alternative. The adverse effects of framing threaten the trustworthiness and results of the group decision support systems (GDSSs). Nonetheless, the avoidance or reduction of framing effects is possible. Negative framing effects arise when users are not consistent with their choices if framing is applied for a collaborative decision using GDSSs. In this interdisciplinary research, human-computer interaction (HCI) informed methods, cognitive science, and political sciences such as democracy and voting collaborate to solve the framing effects of decision problem presentations in GDSSs. This exploratory and descriptive research addresses GDSSs’ and decision-makers’ susceptibility to the framing effect cognitive bias, factors that influence framing on the GDSSs, the unfavorable impacts of the framing effect, and the benefits of avoiding framing effects. The aim is to have GDSSs designed to respond with a robust solution to the framing effects. I explore the features and techniques that can help decision-makers detect and report the framing attack to mitigate the framing impact in GDSSs. For this, I use a simulated group decision session embedded in an online survey instrument and accompanied by further questions using the Qualtrics solution. Research findings reveal that GDSSs’ decision-makers are susceptible to the framing effect cognitive bias. The majority of research participants were unaware of the proposal framing attack in the group decision session. There are inherent vulnerabilities in the GDSSs that support the framing attack. Almost all participants emphasized the importance of alerting decision-makers about the framing attacks during group decision sessions. Effective controlling of the framing effect in GDSSs can be attained by setting overall system management rules of participation and commenting. Research findings give more evidence for the need for argumentation in GDSSs. The integration of the research results in the design of today’s GDSSs’ tools can improve the quality of group decisions and decision-makers’ trust in the GDSSs by ultimately reducing the effects of framing attacks in the GDSSs’.