Applied Decision Making

Research Group Description

Various I-O faculty members and students have interests related to judgment and decision making in the workplace. A general theme in the different research streams is the application of behavioral decision research to the understanding of people’s judgments about jobs, organizations, and human resource practices.

One stream of research is focused on resistance to the use of decision aids in organizations--particularly selection decision aids. A number of studies are being done on topics such as selection decision-making styles, lay impressions (or “folk theories”) of employee selection, and reactions to different methods of communicating selection utility.

Another stream of research is focused on understanding the psychology of attraction to organizations. Studies are being conducted on the impression-management objectives of job seekers, and how corporate reputations help job seekers meet these objectives. Other topics include the measurement of corporate reputation perceptions, and understanding the complex relation between corporate familiarity and attraction.

In addition, research is being done to understand the relation between job seekers’ impressions of jobs, and job holders’ attitudes about those jobs. For example, research in decision making has identified an “empathy gap” between expectations for a choice and actual satisfaction with that choice. Do people know what they want in a job? Can job choice provide need fulfillment?

Finally, we have been examining factors relating to indecision. Failure to make decisions or delaying a decision can often lead to negative consequences. In our research, we are mapping the process of indecision to cognitive models of decision-making in order to better understand why people avoid decisions, and how to elicit decisions in difficult situations.

Recent Research Publications and Presentations