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Mental representations of important real-life decisions

Svenson, Ola and Salo, Ilkka LU (2007) In European Journal of Operational Research 177(3). p.1353-1362
Abstract
Two studies investigated how decision makers characterize alternatives in important real-life decisions, which they themselves had made (to leave a partner, to choose an education and to choose a home). First, the participants indicated a very high degree of involvement in the decisions studied and about half of the participants gave maximum involvement ratings for the partner decision. Second, the results showed that concepts that are essential in most decision theories, such as, consequence, probability and value were important characteristics of the decisions. Third, emotion, positive and negative affect were also important characteristics. Fourth, value and emotion were uncorrelated. Fifth, the patterns of characteristics of decisions... (More)
Two studies investigated how decision makers characterize alternatives in important real-life decisions, which they themselves had made (to leave a partner, to choose an education and to choose a home). First, the participants indicated a very high degree of involvement in the decisions studied and about half of the participants gave maximum involvement ratings for the partner decision. Second, the results showed that concepts that are essential in most decision theories, such as, consequence, probability and value were important characteristics of the decisions. Third, emotion, positive and negative affect were also important characteristics. Fourth, value and emotion were uncorrelated. Fifth, the patterns of characteristics of decisions made in the past did not differ markedly from the characteristics given to future decisions. Principal component analyses were performed on the ratings of applicability of the different characteristics across participants for each decision situation. Three factors were extracted. There was one factor for positive affect/emotions and another factor for negative affect/emotions verified in oblique solutions. Thus, different scales are needed to represent emotion/affect components (and not bipolar scales) in real-life important decisions. The third factor represented the way in which a decision was represented (moving pictures dialogue etc.). An analysis restricted to the participants who rated 100% involvement showed an additional fourth factor with "what others would think", "similar situations", "values" and "money" as the most prominent characteristics. This points to the importance of controlling for participant involvement in studies of human decision making to enable generalizations to real-life decisions. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
real-life decisions, behavioral decision making, mental representation, personal decisions
in
European Journal of Operational Research
volume
177
issue
3
pages
1353 - 1362
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • wos:000242631600004
  • scopus:33750835923
ISSN
0377-2217
DOI
10.1016/j.ejor.2005.04.007
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
047304f5-9e8b-4412-b7b3-258797bd37b0 (old id 683740)
date added to LUP
2007-12-18 15:46:45
date last changed
2017-01-01 04:44:59
@article{047304f5-9e8b-4412-b7b3-258797bd37b0,
  abstract     = {Two studies investigated how decision makers characterize alternatives in important real-life decisions, which they themselves had made (to leave a partner, to choose an education and to choose a home). First, the participants indicated a very high degree of involvement in the decisions studied and about half of the participants gave maximum involvement ratings for the partner decision. Second, the results showed that concepts that are essential in most decision theories, such as, consequence, probability and value were important characteristics of the decisions. Third, emotion, positive and negative affect were also important characteristics. Fourth, value and emotion were uncorrelated. Fifth, the patterns of characteristics of decisions made in the past did not differ markedly from the characteristics given to future decisions. Principal component analyses were performed on the ratings of applicability of the different characteristics across participants for each decision situation. Three factors were extracted. There was one factor for positive affect/emotions and another factor for negative affect/emotions verified in oblique solutions. Thus, different scales are needed to represent emotion/affect components (and not bipolar scales) in real-life important decisions. The third factor represented the way in which a decision was represented (moving pictures dialogue etc.). An analysis restricted to the participants who rated 100% involvement showed an additional fourth factor with "what others would think", "similar situations", "values" and "money" as the most prominent characteristics. This points to the importance of controlling for participant involvement in studies of human decision making to enable generalizations to real-life decisions. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.},
  author       = {Svenson, Ola and Salo, Ilkka},
  issn         = {0377-2217},
  keyword      = {real-life decisions,behavioral decision making,mental representation,personal decisions},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {1353--1362},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {European Journal of Operational Research},
  title        = {Mental representations of important real-life decisions},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ejor.2005.04.007},
  volume       = {177},
  year         = {2007},
}