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Decision Science News

January 19, 2011

Mindful Judgment and Decision Making: The Case Against Mindless Economics (VIDEO)

Professor Elke Weber speaks about her research. The title of her talk is "Mindful Judgment and Decision Making: The Case Against Mindless Economics".


A full range of psychological processes has been put into play to explain judgment and choice phenomena. Complementing work on attention, information integration, and learning, decision research over the past 10 years has also examined the effects of goals, mental representation, and memory processes. In addition to deliberative processes, automatic processes have gotten closer attention, and the emotions revolution has put affective processes on a footing equal to cognitive ones. Psychological process models provide natural predictions about individual differences and lifespan changes and integrate across judgment and decision making (JDM) phenomena. “Mindful” JDM research leverages our knowledge about psychological processes into causal explanations for important judgment and choice regularities, emphasizing the adaptive use of an abundance of processing alternatives. Such explanations supplement and support existing mathematical descriptions of phenomena such as loss aversion or hyperbolic discounting. Unlike such descriptions, they also provide entry points for interventions designed to help people overcome judgments or choices considered undesirable.