Tradeoffs in decision making

Reaserch Team:

Marc Scholten (Project Leader)
Inês Rosa


Project's Summary:

Conventional models of decision making tend to assume that decision makers value each option of choice separately from all other options under consideration and then choose the option that they value most. However, if one asks lay people about decision making, one of the first things one hears from them is that it involves making comparisons between options of choice. It is quite surprising, then, that the comparative nature of decision making is ignored by many descriptive models of decision making. The overall goal of this project is to construct models of decision making and models of the conflict involved in decision making that incorporate the comparative aspects of decision making. These models should be more accurate empirically and more plausible psychologically.


Project’s aims:

The goal of this project is to design tradeoff models of decision making in several domains, such as choice under risk (‘risky choice’) and choice over time (‘intertemporal choice’), as well a tradeoff model of the conflict involved in decision making. The latter is called the double-mediation model (Scholten & Sherman, 2006), because it identifies two mediating processes: Concern about the sacrifices to be incurred with the decision and concern about the arguments that can be made in favor of a particular decision. An important goal is also to establish a connection between models of decision making and the model of conflict in decision making.

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