Advertisement

Scenarios and Acceptance of Forecasts

  • W. Larry Gregory
  • Anne Duran
Chapter
Part of the International Series in Operations Research & Management Science book series (ISOR, volume 30)

Abstract

Scenarios are stories that depict some future event. We reviewed the research in which scenarios were created either by researchers or by research participants with or without structured guidelines. Regardless of how scenarios are created, they have been shown to alter people’s expectations about the depicted events. Evidence suggests that the ease with which a scenario is imagined or constructed, or the plausibility of a scenario, upwardly biases beliefs that the depicted event could occur. In some instances, attitudes or behaviors consistent with the altered expectancies have been observed. For example, persons who imagined subscribing to cable television were more likely to have favorable attitudes toward cable television and to subscribe than those receiving standard sales information, and mental health clinic clients who imagined remaining in therapy for at least four sessions were less likely to drop out prematurely than clients who simply received information on remaining in therapy. Practitioners who wish to alter clients’ expectancies regarding specific events can provide scenarios that (a) depict the occurrence of an event using concrete examples (not abstract information), (b) contain representative events, (c) contain easily recalled supporting evidence, (d) contain events linked by causal connections, (e) ask clients to project themselves into the situation, (f) require clients to describe how they acted and felt in the situation, (g) use plausible elements in the story, (h) include reasons why the events occur, (i) require clients to explain the outcomes, (j) take into account clients’ experiences with the topic, and (k) avoid causing reactance or boomerang effects in clients who might resent blatant influence attempts. We make additional recommendations concerning the situation in which clients are exposed to scenarios and the use of multiple scenarios.

Keywords

Availability heuristic expectancies scenarios simulation heuristic 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Anderson, C. A. (1982), “Inoculation and counterexplanation: Debiasing techniques in the perseverance of social theories,” Social Cognition, 1, 126–139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anderson, C. A. (1983a), “Imagination and expectation: The effect of imagining behavioral scripts on personal intentions,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 45, 293–305.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Anderson, C. A. (1983b), “Abstract and concrete data in the perseverance of social theories: When weak data lead to unshakable beliefs,” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 19, 93–108.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Anderson, C. A. and S. S. Godfrey (1987), “Thoughts about actions: The effects of specificity and availability of imagined behavioral scripts on expectations about oneself and others,” Social Cognition, 5, 238–258.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Anderson, C. A., M. R. Lepper and L. Ross (1980), “Perseverance of social theories: The role of explanation in the persistence of discredited information,” Journal ofPersonality and Social Psychology, 39, 1037–1049.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Armstrong, J. S. (1985), Long-range Forecasting (2nd ed.). New York: John Wiley. Arkes, H. R. (2001), “Overconfidence in judgmental forecasting,” in J. S. Armstrong (ed.). Principles of Forecasting. Norwell, MA: Kluwer Academic Publishers.Google Scholar
  7. Aronson, E. and J. M. Carlsmith (1962), “Performance expectancy as a determinant of actual performance,” Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 65, 178–182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bem, D. J. (1972), “Self-perception theory,” in L. Berkowitz (ed.), Advances in Experimental Social Psychology (Vol. 6 ). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  9. Carroll, J. S. (1978), “The effect of imagining an event on expectations for the event: An interpretation in terms of the availability heuristic,” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 14, 88–96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Dougherty, M. R. P., C. F. Gettys and R. P. Thomas (1997), “The role of mental simulation in judgments of likelihood,” Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 70, 135–148.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Goodwin, P. and G. Wright (1997), Decision Analysis for Management Judgment. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  12. Gregory, W. L., R. B. Cialdini and K. M. Carpenter (1982), “Self-relevant scenarios as mediators of likelihood estimates and compliance: Does imagining make it so?” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 43, 89–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Gregory, W. L., W. J. Burroughs and F. M. Ainslie (1985), “Self-relevant scenarios as an indirect means of attitude change,” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 11, 435–444.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Heath, L., M. Acklin and K. Wiley (1991), “Cognitive heuristics and AIDS risk assessment among physicians,” Journal ofApplied Social Psychology, 21, 1859–1867.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Hirt, E. R. and K. D. Markman (1995), “ Multiple explanation: A consider-an-alternative strategy for debiasing judgments,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 69, 1069–1086.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Kahneman, D., P. Slovic and A. Tversky (1982), Judgment Under Uncertainty: Heuristics and Biases. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Kahneman, D. and A. Tversky (1982), “The simulation heuristic,” in D. Kahneman, P. Slovic and A. Tversky (eds.), Judgment Under Uncertainty: Heuristics and Biases. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, pp. 201–208.Google Scholar
  18. Koehler, D. J. (1991), “Explanation, imagination, and confidence in judgment,” Psychological Bulletin, 110, 499–519.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Koehler, D. J. (1994), “Hypothesis generation and confidence in judgment, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 20, 461–469.Google Scholar
  20. Kuhn, K. M. and J. A. Sniezek (1996), “Confidence and uncertainty in judgmental forecasting: Differential effects of scenario presentation,” Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 9, 231–247.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Lang, P. J. (1979), “A bio-informational theory of emotional imagery,” Psychobiology, 16, 495–512.Google Scholar
  22. Levi, A. S. and J. B. Pryor (1987), “Use of the availability heuristic in probability estimates of future events: The effects of imagining outcomes versus imagining reasons,” Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 40, 219–234.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Loken, B. and R. S. Wyer (1983), “Effects of reporting beliefs in syllogistically related propositions on the recognition of unmentioned propositions,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 45, 306–322.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. MacKay, B. C., W. L. Gregory and L. Chu (1988), “ Aids and protection motivation theory: Effects of imagined scenarios on intentions to use condoms,” Symposium presentation at the 68th annual convention of the Western Psychological Association, Burlingame, CA.Google Scholar
  25. Mante-Meijer, E., P. van der Duin and M. Abeln (1998), “Fun with scenarios,” Long Range Planning, 31, 628–637.Google Scholar
  26. N’gbala, A. and N. R. Branscombe (1995), “Mental simulation and causal attribution: When simulating an event does not affect fault assignment,” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 31, 139–162.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Padilla, C. and W. L. Gregory (1997), “Effects of scenarios on counseling-seeking in depressed and relationship-impaired students,” Paper presented at the annual convention of the Western Psychological Association, Reno, NV.Google Scholar
  28. Read, S. J. (1983), “Once is enough: Causal reasoning from a single instance,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 45, 323–334.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Richardson, A. (1984), “Strengthening the theoretical links between imaged stimuli and physiological responses,” Journal of Mental Imagery, 8, 113–126.Google Scholar
  30. Ross, L. and C. A. Anderson (1982), “Shortcomings in the attribution process: On the origins and maintenance of erroneous social assessments,” in D. Kahneman, P. Slovic and A. Tversky (eds.), Judgment Under Uncertainty: Heuristics and Biases. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press, pp. 129–152.Google Scholar
  31. Schnaars, S. P. and M. T. Topol (1987), “The use of multiple scenarios in sales forecasting: An empirical test,” International Journal of Forecasting, 3, 405–419.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Schoemaker, P. J. H. (1991), “When and how to use scenario planning: A heuristic approach with illustration,” Journal of Forecasting, 10, 549–564.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Schoemaker, P. J. H. (1993), “Multiple scenario development: Its conceptual and behavioral foundation,” Strategic Management Journal, 14, 193–213.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Schoemaker, P. J. H. (1997), “Twenty common pitfalls in scenario planning,” in L. Fahey and R. M. Randall (eds.), Learning From the Future: Competitive Foresight Scenarios. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  35. Sherman, R. T. and C. A. Anderson (1987), “Decreasing premature termination from psychotherapy,” Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology, 5, 298–312.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Sherman, S. J. (1980), “On the self-erasing nature of errors of prediction,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 39, 211–221.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Sherman, S. J., R. B. Cialdini, D. F. Schwartzman and K. D. Reynolds (1985), “Imagining can heighten or lower the perceived likelihood of contracting a disease: The mediating effect of ease of imagery,” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 11, 118–127.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Sherman, S. J., R. B. Skov, E. F. Hervitz and C. B. Stock (1981), “The effects of explaining hypothetical future events: From possibility to probability to actuality and beyond,” Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 17, 142–158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Slovic, P. and D. J. MacPhillamy (1974), “Dimensional commensurability and cue utilization in comparative judgment,” Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, 11, 172–194.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Slusher, M. P. and C. A. Anderson (1996), “Using causal persuasive arguments to change beliefs and teach new information: The mediating role of explanation availability and evaluation bias in the acceptance of knowledge,” Journal of Educational Psychology, 88, 110–122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Taylor, S. E. and S. K. Schneider (1989), “Coping and the simulation of events,” Social Cognition, 7, 174–194.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Taylor, S. E. and S. C. Thompson (1982), “Stalking the elusive vividness effect,” Psychological Review, 89, 155–181.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Tversky, A. and D. Kahneman (1973), “Availability: A heuristic for judging frequency and probability,” Cognitive Psychology, 5, 207–232.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Tversky, A. and D. Kahneman (1983), “Extensional versus intuitive reasoning: The con- junction fallacy in probability judgment,” Psychological Review, 90, 293–315.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Weaver, D. and P. Brickman (1974), “Expectancy, feedback, and disconfirmation as independent factors in outcome satisfaction,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 30, 420–428.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. Larry Gregory
    • 1
  • Anne Duran
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyNew Mexico State UniversityUSA

Personalised recommendations