Aggregating Conclusive and Inconclusive Information – Data and a Model Based on the Assessment of Threat


  1. Baranski, J.V.
  2. Petrusic, W.M.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Toronto, Toronto ONT (CAN);Carleton Univ, Ottawa ONT (CAN) Dept of Psychology
This study examined the process of combining conclusive and inconclusive information using a Naval threat assessment simulation. In the present context, inconclusive information refers to data that is relevant but does not clearly support a choice alternative at the moment of decision. On each of 36 trials, participants interrogated 10 pieces of information (e.g., speed, direction, bearing, etc…) about ‘targets’ in a simulated radar space. The number of hostile [n(H)], peaceful [n(P)], and inconclusive [n(I)] cues was factorially varied across targets. Three models were developed to understand how inconclusive information is used in the judgment of threat. According to one model, inconclusive information is ignored and the judgment of threat is based only on the conclusive information. According to a second model, the amount of dominant conclusive information is normalized by all of the available information. Finally, according to a third model, inconclusive information is partitioned under the assumption that it equally represents both dominant and non-dominant evidence. In Experiment 1, the data of novices (i.e., civilians) were best fit by a model that assumes a partitioning of inconclusive evidence. This result was replicated in a second experiment involving variation of the global threat context of the scenario. In a third experiment involving experts (i.e., Canadian Navy officers), the data of half of the participants were best fit by the partitioning model and th

Il y a un résumé en français ici.

Inconclusive information;threat assessment;subjective probability;confidence;balance of evidence;dilution effect
Report Number
DRDC-TORONTO-SL-2008-139 — Scientific Literature
Date of publication
01 Jul 2008
Number of Pages
Reprinted from
Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, vol 23, 2010, p 383-403
Electronic Document(PDF)

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