Research Topic

Judgment and Decision Making Under Uncertainty: Descriptive, Normative, and Prescriptive Perspectives

About this Research Topic

Judging and deciding are endemic features of everyday life, representing prime categories of higher-order cognition that often follow thinking and reasoning and precede planning and action. Although some judgement and decisions may be made under conditions of certainty, by far, most involve some form of ...

Judging and deciding are endemic features of everyday life, representing prime categories of higher-order cognition that often follow thinking and reasoning and precede planning and action. Although some judgement and decisions may be made under conditions of certainty, by far, most involve some form of uncertainty. In this Research Topic we take a broad view on uncertainty, permitting it to include events that are (a) uncertain but well defined both in terms of their extension and probability (i.e., Knightian risk), (b) uncertain and vaguely and/or ambiguously defined in such terms, and/or (c) subjects of partial or complete ignorance (i.e., epistemic uncertainty). We welcome a broad range of articles that advance descriptive, normative, or prescriptive theory and knowledge on this topic. Accordingly, we seek papers that address how and why people judge and decide as they do (descriptive focus), how they ideally ought to judge and decide (normative focus), and how their judgment and decision-making processes might be improved in practice (prescriptive focus). As has long been de rigueur in JDM research, papers that integrate two of more of these perspectives are strongly favored.

From a descriptive vantage point, submitted articles could focus on aspects of judgment and/or decision-making under uncertainty, in general, or on judgment and decision-making in a specific domain. We welcome articles that examine interactions or interrelations between judgment and decision processes, between types of judgment or decision (e.g., comparing factual and value-based judgments), or among types or respects of uncertainty (e.g., how linguistic ambiguity and vagueness affects judgments about probabilistically defined events). From a normative vantage point, articles can address one or more normative frameworks (e.g., Bayesian, fuzzy set theory, multi-valued logic, entropy-minimization approaches, rational choice theories, signal detection theory, conversational pragmatics, etc.) or the relationship between different normative criteria (e.g., how correspondence and coherence criteria are related or how their relations might be moderated by other factors).

Our aim herein is to broaden the scope of a prior Research Topic on “Improving Bayesian Reasoning: What Works and Why?” to also include normative approaches that are not Bayesian. From a prescriptive vantage point, the present collection continues the focus on “improvement” that was inherent in our previous Research Topic. We welcome the submission of articles that test a broad range of strategies or heuristics for improving judgment and/or decision-making under uncertainty, including those currently used in specialized fields, which may not have undergone adequate scientific testing.

Finally, we encourage submissions that tackle the substantive topic from a broad range of methodological and theoretical perspectives, and we welcome empirical papers that describe observational or experimental studies from the laboratory and/or from more naturalistic settings. We encourage authors to highlight in their abstract submissions where their proposed manuscripts will have the strongest contribution (e.g., descriptive theory of decision-making, prescriptive methods for representing uncertainties in judgment, etc.).


Keywords: Judgment, decision-making, uncertainty, probability, higher-order cognition


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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Submission Deadlines

18 March 2018 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

18 March 2018 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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