The impact of explanation facilities on user acceptance of expert systems advice

L. Richard Ye, Paul E. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

164 Scopus citations

Abstract

Providing explanations for recommended actions is deemed one of the most important capabilities of expert systems (ES). There is little empirical evidence, however, that explanation facilities indeed influence user confidence in, and acceptance of, ES-based decisions and recommendations. This paper investigates the impact of ES explanations on changes in user beliefs toward ES-generated conclusions. Grounded on a theoretical model of argument, three alternative types of ES explanations - trace, justification, and strategy - were provided in a simulated diagnostic expert system performing auditing tasks. Twenty practicing auditors evaluated the outputs of the system in a laboratory setting. The results indicate that explanation facilities can make ES-generated advice more acceptable to users and that justification is the most effective type of explanation to bring about changes in user attitudes toward the system. These findings are expected to be generalizable to application domains that exhibit similar characteristics to those of auditing: domains in which decision making tends to be judgmental and yet highly consequential, and the correctness or validity of such decisions cannot be readily verified.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-172
Number of pages16
JournalMIS Quarterly: Management Information Systems
Volume19
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1995

Keywords

  • Auditing
  • Expert systems
  • Explanation facilities
  • Justification
  • User acceptance

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