Disentangling Fairness Perceptions in Algorithmic Decision-Making

The Effects of Explanations, Human Oversight, and Contestability

More Info


Recent research claims that information cues and system attributes of algorithmic decision-making processes affect decision subjects' fairness perceptions. However, little is still known about how these factors interact. This paper presents a user study (N = 267) investigating the individual and combined effects of explanations, human oversight, and contestability on informational and procedural fairness perceptions for high- and low-stakes decisions in a loan approval scenario. We find that explanations and contestability contribute to informational and procedural fairness perceptions, respectively, but we find no evidence for an effect of human oversight. Our results further show that both informational and procedural fairness perceptions contribute positively to overall fairness perceptions but we do not find an interaction effect between them. A qualitative analysis exposes tensions between information overload and understanding, human involvement and timely decision-making, and accounting for personal circumstances while maintaining procedural consistency. Our results have important design implications for algorithmic decision-making processes that meet decision subjects' standards of justice.