Human effects in construction contract price forecasting: Experience and experiential learning styles

David J. Lowe*, R. Martin Skitmore

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
36 Downloads (Pure)


This paper reports on a fully structured interview survey, using a multisectional questionnaire, of experienced construction contract price forecasters. The aim of the research was to investigate the relationship between the accuracy of "early-stage" forecasts and experience (defined in terms of the forecasters' length of service as a forecaster and the number of forecasts prepared), learning styles, and approaches to learning. The results show that, although the forecasters rated experience very highly, the relationships between their ability to learn from experience, measured in terms of individual learning styles and approaches to learning, and the quality of their forecasts were found to be very different from those anticipated. No significant correlations were found between forecasting accuracy and the experience measures used, except for the approaches-to-learning dimensions labeled Risk taking, Insecurity, and Self-confidence. The results for the Insecurity and Self-confidence dimensions suggest that balanced forecasters (i.e., those who were neither insecure nor overconfident) produce more consistent forecasts. Similarly, the results for the Risk-taking dimension indicate that high-risk takers tend to underestimate whereas those who are more conservative tend to overestimate contract prices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)485-493
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Construction Engineering and Management
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2001
Externally publishedYes


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