Decision Support Systems (DSS) frequently have multiple decision aid (DA) features, causing users to engage in exclusive choice behavior; i.e., choice between alternative DA features that results in one feature being used to the exclusion of all others. We hypothesize that: (1) users choose the least effective (least accurate) DA feature in certain predictability environments; (2) users choose the DA feature that they believe they are most competent with; and (3) choice between DA features improves performance compared to those assigned the same DA feature. We test these hypotheses in an experiment in which 164 participants act as loan officers who chose between two decision aids (a database aid and a regression aid). The results support our hypotheses. Users employed a choice heuristic that caused them to choose the least effective DA feature for the task more than or as often as the most effective DA feature. Results also indicate a positive relationship between perceived competence and DA feature choice, and the positive effect of DA choice. We conclude by describing the insights provided by the results into the heuristics of information technology choice.

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