Comparative Decision Making Studies

Analysis and Decision Support Tools

"Nothing is more difficult, and therefore more precious, than to be able to decide." -- Napoleon Bonaparte

CDMS group

Graphic of person trying to make a decision.

We view the problem of decision making (how alternatives are modeled, recognized, evaluated, and then chosen) as a compelling focus of study because making decisions is integral to many contexts, and many fields have approaches to studying it. Our program is unique in its breadth of perspectives on decision making. We bring together young and established researchers who have expertise in a particular discipline, but seek to gain perspective and experience in other disciplines. Our program blends empirical, conceptual, and theoretical approaches across differing levels of organization (individuals, groups, institutions) and addressing differing levels of analysis (algorithmic, mechanistic, developmental, functional, and evolutionary). The research that supports our program examines decision making:

  1. in biological entities (plants and animals) using ecological, neurobiological, and cognitive approaches,
  2. in a variety of human contexts using comparative and experimental techniques,
  3. in theoretical constructs about, and using, mathematical and computer modeling, and
  4. from the perspective of how decision support systems might assist individuals, communities, businesses, and organizations reach better and more efficient decisions.

Collaborative research within and among these areas constitutes the core of the CDMS group.