The psychology of decision-making

Experts from around the world are to discuss the reasons and processes behind decision-making at an upcoming conference. Kingston University, London will play host to the gathering at the Penrhyn Road campus between August 21st and 25th.

Scientists are to consider the psychology of choice, uncertainty judgements and risk communication at the event, as well as subjects such as the public risk perception on topics including climate change.

Consumer decisions, the psychology behind financial risk management and persuasion in decision-making are also to be considered at the conference.

Dr Gaelle Villejoubert, Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Kingston University, noted better understanding in this area could have significant benefits for both society and business, adding: "There will be a lot of groundbreaking research presented by world-leaders in their field."

A number of experts from Kingston University - which has four campuses in and around Kingston upon Thames - will be a part of proceedings, with Dr Villejoubert presenting research regarding risks and uncertainty and Dr Christina Butler and Dr Marie Juanchich from Kingston Business School discussing politeness in risk communication.

Chartered Psychologist Professor John Maule commented: "Research has consistently shown that decision makers, including experts, often use relatively simple forms of thinking that can lead to error and biases in the choices that they make.

"People have limited thinking capacity so need to simplify what they are doing to meet the demands of having to process relatively large amounts of information, often under time and other pressures. 

"These forms of thinking can explain many of the major failures in individual and organisational decision making as well as identifying procedures that people should follow if they want to make good decisions. 

"In addition, this research has provided the bedrock for recent advances in behavioural economics which are currently underpinning many policy decisions taken by the UK and US governments, including those associated with 'nudge'.

"This conference, run by the European Association of Decision Making, is one of the foremost international conferences reviewing contemporary research in this area."