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Experimental Evaluation of a Debiasing Method for Analysis in Engineering Design

Nelius, Thomas ORCID iD icon 1; Matthiesen, Sven 2
1 Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)
2 Institut für Produktentwicklung (IPEK), Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)


During analysis in engineering design, systematic thinking errors - so-called cognitive biases - can lead to inaccurate understanding of the design problem. With a simplified version of the Analysis of Competing Hypotheses - ACH method and a simplified decision matrix, the confirmation bias in particular can be minimized. To evaluate this method, it was taught to experienced design engineers and mechanical engineering students. During the experimental evaluation the participants analysed a real technical problem. The procedures and results were compared with a previously conducted study with the same task. The design engineers have not changed their approaches and could not further improve their analysis success. The students profited considerably from the training. They have mentioned twice as much supporting evidence and six times as much contradicting evidence through the training indicating a more extensive analysis. As a result, the students showed significantly fewer signs of confirmation bias than without training. The findings suggest that debiasing strategies should be introduced early in engineering design education.

Verlagsausgabe §
DOI: 10.5445/IR/1000098488
Veröffentlicht am 27.09.2019
DOI: 10.1017/dsi.2019.53
Zitationen: 8
Zitationen: 5
Cover der Publikation
Zugehörige Institution(en) am KIT Institut für Produktentwicklung (IPEK)
Publikationstyp Zeitschriftenaufsatz
Publikationsmonat/-jahr 07.2019
Sprache Englisch
Identifikator ISSN: 2220-4342
KITopen-ID: 1000098488
Erschienen in Proceedings of the Design Society: International Conference on Engineering Design
Verlag Cambridge University Press (CUP)
Band 1
Heft 1
Seiten 489–498
Bemerkung zur Veröffentlichung International Conference on Engineering Design, ICED19, 5-8 August 2019, Delft, The Netherlands
Vorab online veröffentlicht am 26.07.2019
Schlagwörter Decision making, Design cognition, Human behaviour in design, Confirmation Bias, Debiasing
Nachgewiesen in Dimensions
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