Previous studies of predecisional information search have predominantly drawn on Bayesian models for normative guidance. An analogous model for the continuous-variable case, in which the judge may purchase one or more items of costly but imperfect information to guide a decision in which errors are also costly, is presented. Results are reported for two experiments using a task based on this model. The findings indicate that information acquisition and use are influenced by several normatively irrelevant task characteristics as well as by appropriate normative factors and that departures from optimality may be quite large. Implications for further research are suggested.
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