Negative Decision Outcomes Are More Common Among People with Lower Decision-Making Competence: an Item-Level Analysis of the Decision Outcome Inventory (DOI)

Published in: Frontiers in Psychology, Volume 6 (2015), page 363. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00363

Posted on on May 16, 2017

by Andrew M. Parker, Wandi Bruine de Bruin

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Most behavioral decision research takes place in carefully controlled laboratory settings, and examination of relationships between performance and specific real-world decision outcomes is rare. One prior study shows that people who perform better on hypothetical decision tasks, assessed using the Adult Decision-Making Competence (A-DMC) measure, also tend to experience better real-world decision outcomes, as reported on the Decision Outcomes Inventory (DOI). The DOI score reflects avoidance of outcomes that could result from poor decisions, ranging from serious (e.g., bankruptcy) to minor (e.g., blisters from sunburn). The present analyses go beyond the initial work, which focused on the overall DOI score, by analyzing the relationships between specific decision outcomes and A-DMC performance. Most outcomes are significantly more likely among people with lower A-DMC scores, even after taking into account two variables expected to produce worse real-world decision outcomes: younger age and lower socio-economic status. We discuss the usefulness of DOI as a measure of successful real-world decision making.

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