Individual Differences in Decision-Making Competence: Progress and Challenges of the Construct

  • Date:
  • Time: 14:00-15:00
  • Location: Online
  • Speaker: Josh Weller, CDR



Over the past 20 years, researchers interested in judgment and decision-making processes have begun to appreciate individual differences in rational responding.  One stream of research argues that decision-making skills may be mediated by an over-arching latent variable, named decision-making competence (DMC). DMC is conceptualized as the tendency to respond rationally (either accurately or consistently) on a variety of behavioral decision tasks commonly encountered in the behavioral decision literature.  Since its initial conceptualization (Parker & Fischhoff, 2005), research has suggested that individual differences in DMC are associated with important social and health outcomes. Moreover, evidence suggests that DMC is associated with indices of executive function and inhibitory control, suggesting that higher DMC may be related to greater deliberative processing. In this talk, I review the findings related to this “trait” from a construct validity perspective.  Specifically, I will address issues of dimensionality, reliability, and validity, highlighting not only progress that had been made, but also the challenges that researchers must face to better conceptualize the construct.

The Speaker

Dr Joshua Weller recently joined CDR from Tilburg University (The Netherlands), where he served as an Assistant Professor in Developmental Psychology.  Josh received his Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Iowa in 2007.His research broadly focuses on how affective and cognitive processes contribute to decision-making and risk perceptions. More specifically, he studies individual differences in the perception of uncertainty and how individuals make rational choices, both in terms of how these tendencies develop over the lifespan as well as identifying factors that may contribute to more effective decision-making. His research has been funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation, the American Automobile Association Foundation, and the National Institute of Drug Abuse (US).