Accountability and the Quality of Regulatory Judgment Processes. Experimental Research Offering Both Confirmation and Consolation

Thomas Schillemans*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The quality of judgment by regulatory professionals is key to good regulatory governance yet also a potential problem. Psychological studies have shown that individuals easily make judgment errors and that feeling accountable—expecting to have to explain and justify oneself—improves one’s judgments. This paper explores to what extent felt accountability improves regulatory judgment processes in more realistic settings than the traditional laboratory study. It does so in an experimental design inspired by a classic study. Samples of professional regulators and students were given a judgment task with conflicting and incomplete information under varying conditions of accountability and in a context of ambiguity. Results confirm that accountability improves professional regulators’ judgment processes in terms of decision time, accurate recall of information and absence of recency bias. However, professional regulators were significantly more accurate in their judgments than students. Our results suggest that it is important to devise appropriate forms of operational accountability for regulatory professionals that stimulate their cognitive efforts and guard against biases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)473-498
Number of pages26
JournalPublic Performance and Management Review
Volume45
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • Accuracy
  • cognitive effort
  • regulatory judgment
  • regulatory professionals

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Accountability and the Quality of Regulatory Judgment Processes. Experimental Research Offering Both Confirmation and Consolation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this