Individual Differences in Adult Decision-Making Competence
Published in: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, v. 92, no. 5, May 2007, p. 938-956
Posted on RAND.org on December 31, 2006
The authors evaluated the reliability and validity of a set of 7 behavioral decision-making tasks, measuring different aspects of the decision-making process. The tasks were administered to individuals from diverse populations. Participants showed relatively consistent performance within and across the 7 tasks, which were then aggregated into an Adult Decision-Making Competence (A-DMC) index that showed good reliability. The validity of the 7 tasks and of overall A-DMC emerges in significant relationships with measures of socioeconomic status, cognitive ability, and decision-making styles. Participants who performed better on the A-DMC were less likely to report negative life events indicative of poor decision making, as measured by the Decision Outcomes Inventory. Significant predictive validity remains when controlling for demographic measures, measures of cognitive ability, and constructive decision-making styles. Thus, A-DMC appears to be a distinct construct relevant to adults' real-world decisions.