In the thesis, Løhre has investigated communicative influences on predictions, with most focus given to predictions of task performance time (i.e., predictions of how long it will take to do a certain task). Such predictions are often used in planning and budgeting (for instance for software projects), so it has practical value to understand how predictions are communicated, and how different ways of communicating a prediction can lead to less or more misunderstandings.
The findings demonstrated that changes in the communicative situation can affect both the production and interpretation of predictions in quite drastic ways. For instance, in one study 381 software developers were asked to estimate how long it would take to develop some simple programs. Some of the developers were first asked whether they thought they would need less than 1000 hours. This absurdly high “anchoring value” led the developers to say that they would need more than 150 hours, while those who did not get this question estimated that they would need 40 hours for the same task.
The thesis is written within the field of psychology. The work has been conducted at Simula Research Laboratory and the Department of psychology, University of Oslo.
Prior to the defense, at 10.15, Erik Løhre presented his/her trial lecture “How do emotions influence predictions?”.
The adjudication committee
• Senior lecturer Linda Moxey, University of Glasgow, Scotland
• Professor Anders Biel, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
• Professor Geir Overskeid, University of Oslo, Norway
Chair of the disputation
• Professor Rolf Reber, University of Oslo, Norway
• Professor Magne Jørgensen, Simula Research Laboratory, Norway
• Professor Karl Halvor Teigen, Simula Research Laboratory and University of Oslo, Norway
• Professor Geir Kirkebøen, University of Oslo, Norway