When you made the wrong decision: Post-decision coping with decisions in conflict with experts and/or objective facts

  • Date: Wednesday 28 November 2018
  • Speaker: Dr Ola Svenson
  • Time: 14:00 - 15:00
  • Location: Room 1.44, Maurice Keyworth Building, Leeds University Business School
  • Who can attend: Staff, students, alumni and external guests


Most process studies of decision making focus on how attractiveness (values) are mentally reconstructed before and after a decision in order to reach coherence between a decision problem and a decision. Differentiation and Consolidation theory, Diff Con, describes such processes but also mental reconstructions of facts, facts importance and reformulation of decision problems as parts of decision processes. Using the Diff Con framework, the empirical studies presented in the talk investigated different decision makers’ cognitive post-decision processes. In particular, we focused on cognitive processes after information that a decision was in disagreement/agreement with expert decisions or with verifiable facts. The studies invite some speculations about generalizations to applied contexts.

About the speaker

Dr Ola SvensonOla Svenson received his Ph.D. from Stockholm University with a thesis on psychophysics and measurement theory under the supervision of Professor Gösta Ekman. He has worked for many years with basic research in cognition and decision making and is one of the pioneers who introduced a process perspective and the think-aloud method in behavioral decision research. Dr. Svenson initiated and was one of the founding fathers of the European Group for Process Tracing of Decision Making, EGPROC, which has met annually since 1981.

His applied research includes studies of traffic safety, risk analysis, risk perception, and nuclear safety. His most cited publications include: Are we all less risky and more skillful than our fellow drivers? (1981) , Process descriptions of decision making (1979) and different versions of Diff Con theory (1992 -).

Dr. Svenson is a Senior research scientist at Decision Research Oregon USA and Professor emeritus at Stockholm University.