Decision making and uncertainty: how does degree of responsibility influence communicated uncertainty about a choice
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- Master of Science 
This study aims to investigate how people in a choice situation framed as a loss communicate uncertainty to others, both during the decision making process and after the outcome is known. We looked at how people communicate their choices; whether they focus on certainty or uncertainty, and if this is affected by the degree of responsibility they have in the decision making process. The main hypothesis (H1) investigates whether people with low degrees of responsibility report that they are more certain about their decision when they are in the decision making process. H2 examines whether participants will allow themselves to express higher levels of uncertainty when they are using internally focused statements. H3 explores whether people with a low degree of responsibility indicate that they felt more certain about their decision after the outcome is known. Lastly, H4 investigates if people with low responsibility report that they are less responsible for the decision after the outcome is known. Our findings yielded some surprising as well as some predicted results. The results showed a significant but opposite direction on our main hypothesis (H1), as participants in the high responsibility group expressed higher levels of certainty about their decision. H2 and H3 did not show any significant effects, whereas H4 yielded a significant effect. Finally, the measures of impression management that we included in our study did not show any strong relationships with our dependent measures. We discuss the implications of our findings for leadership, communication, and decision making in organisations.
Masteroppgave(MSc) in Master of Science in Leadership and Organizational Psychology - Handelshøyskolen BI, 2022