Research Topic

Who Is Making The Decision Matters – Conceptual, Methodological, Empirical and Applied Approaches To Individual Differences in Decision Making

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We know more about how decisions are made than we do about the factors that influence individual differences in decision making. That said it’s clear that people can vary greatly in their decision-making style – and it is important both from a research and practical perspective to understand how and why ...

We know more about how decisions are made than we do about the factors that influence individual differences in decision making. That said it’s clear that people can vary greatly in their decision-making style – and it is important both from a research and practical perspective to understand how and why people differ. Recent reviews of the literature have begun to weave together some of the reasons why individual differences should be studied, what new directions for research might be, and also impediments to bringing an individual differences perspective to the science of decision making. But as the study of decision making draws on expertise from diverse disciplines (e.g., cognitive science, neuroscience, personality, political psychology, behavioral economics, genetics, psychiatry), it would be informative to bring together a variety of perspectives to this understudied yet extremely timely topic.

To this end, the aim of this Research Topic is to elicit creative thinking from multiple perspectives by focusing on three broad issues. First, we wish to distill the intriguing but underappreciated literature on individual differences in decision-making style, including: the empirical foundation for variation from prior studies; conceptual and practical barriers to – and catalysts for – embracing an individual differences perspective; convergence and divergence in core constructs used to date; the pros and cons of employing traditional self-report measures; and the need for more sensitive alternative methods (e.g., recording and assessment of non-verbal behavior; real-time study of decision making process using neuroimaging paradigms). Second, we would welcome empirical papers – including initial studies – that highlight unique methods for assessing decision-making style in a variety of populations, along with attempts to demonstrate the prediction of future real-time decision-making behavior that carry importance for the individual and for society. Third, we welcome discussion of the practical and policy implications of understanding the role of the individual as a decision maker (e.g, from the perspective of clinical science, political science, economics). Here the utility of studying variation in decision-making process both across groups (e.g., differences between individuals with a psychiatric illness versus those without) and within groups (e.g., the profound differences that can be found across different political leaders) will be emphasized.
To serve this initiative, we welcome original research articles, reviews, hypothesis and theory articles, methodological articles, and brief commentaries/opinion pieces. Experimental, theoretical, and computational contributions are welcomed as well.


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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