Skip to main content
Kent Academic Repository

Mental Simulation and The Individual Preference Effect

Nicholson, Dawn H, Hopthrow, Tim, Randsley de Moura, Georgina (2020) Mental Simulation and The Individual Preference Effect. International Journal of Organization Theory and Behavior, . ISSN 1093-4537. (doi:10.1108/IJOTB-05-2020-0063) (KAR id:82712)


Purpose - The “Individual Preference Effect” (IPE: Faulmüller et al., 2010; Greitemeyer & Schulz-Hardt, 2003; Greitemeyer et al., 2003), a form of confirmation bias, is an important barrier to achieving improved group decision-making outcomes in Hidden Profile tasks. Group members remain committed to their individual preferences and are unable to disconfirm their initial suboptimal selection decisions, even when presented with full information enabling them to correct them, and even if the accompanying group processes are perfectly conducted. This paper examines whether a mental simulation can overcome the IPE.

Design/Methodology/Approach – Two experimental studies examine the effect of a mental simulation intervention in attenuating the IPE and improving decision quality in an online individual Hidden Profile task.

Findings – Individuals undertaking a mental simulation achieved higher decision quality than those in a Control condition and experienced a greater reduction in confidence in the Suboptimal solution.

Originality – To the authors’ knowledge, no study has examined whether mental simulation can attenuate the IPE.

Research limitations/implications – Results suggest a role for mental simulation in overcoming the IPE. The test environment is an online individual decision-making task and broader application to group decision-making is not tested.

Practical Implications – Since mental simulation is something we all do, it should easily generalise to an organisational setting to improve decision outcomes.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1108/IJOTB-05-2020-0063
Uncontrolled keywords: Hidden Profiles, Individual Preference Effect, Decision-making, Mental simulation, Centre for the Study of Group Processes
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Dawn Nicholson
Date Deposited: 01 Sep 2020 10:02 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2022 00:31 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

  • Depositors only (login required):

Total unique views for this document in KAR since July 2020. For more details click on the image.