VACANCY: Lecturer in Business Analytics and Decision Science.


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What is Decision Research?

Left to right: Barbara Summers, Andrea Taylor, Yasmina Okan, Simon McNair, Wändi Bruine de Bruin, Richard Hodgett, Alan Pearman and Gulbanu Kaptan
Centre for Decision Research

Decision Research focuses on the way individuals, groups and organisations make decisions. It involves perspectives that are:

  • Descriptive - why and how decisions are made the way they are,
  • Normative - how decisions should be made in some ideal sense, and
  • Prescriptive - how can decision making be made more effective.

It is concerned with how people make judgments and take decisions, particularly in situations involving risk and uncertainty. The research has provided important insights into how and why people do what they do, why they make mistakes that can lead to poor outcomes for themselves and their organisations, and how we can use this knowledge to help them do it better.

Theories and findings from decision research have been applied extensively in such areas as political science, finance, marketing, health, medicine, management and the law. These applications have provided important insights into how decisions are taken in these areas, some of the errors and mistakes made by people, including experts, and how to improve these decisions.

The Centre

Founded in March 1996, the Centre brings together researchers from across the University of Leeds, and other local Universities, who have an interest in human decision making. Its strong multi-disciplinary focus has led to research collaborations across a wide range of disciplines e.g. Computer Studies, Business and Management, Psychology, Philosophy, Transport Studies, Health Studies, Medicine, Civil Engineering, Geography, Law, Education. Despite the different fields of application, much of this work is based on a broadly shared theoretical and methodological core.

Members of the Centre carry out a broad range of research, much of it funded externally, publish extensively in academic journals, edited books and practitioner journals, as well as presenting at major national and international conferences. 

Latest News

Granger Morgan's presentation - “Muddling Through on Climate Policy is a Good Start …But Not Good Enough”

15 January 2016

The Centre for Decision Research invited M. Granger Morgan, Carnegie Mellon University, to deliver a seminar and meet with members of the centre earlier in January. 

Granger is the Hamerschlag University Professor of Engineering and a Professor in the Department of Engineering and Public Policy (where he served for 38 years as the founding Department Head) and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. He also holds an appointment in the H. John Heinz III College of Public Policy and Management. He is a member of the US National Academy of Science, and a Fellow of the IEEE, AAAS and SRA.

Granger's presentation is available to view as a PDF here.

Recent Activities

15 January 2016

Members of the Centre for Decision research have had a number of papers accepted for journals recently, including:

  • Wandi Bruine de Bruin, "Perceptions of Electricity Use Communications: Effects of Information, Format, and Individual Differences." with PhD student Casey Canfield and Dr Gabrielle Wong-Parodi from Carnegie Mellon University, US in the Journal of Risk Research.
  • Rob Ranyard with S McHugh., “Consumers’ credit card repayment decisions: The role of higher anchors and future repayment concern”, Journal of Economic Psychology, 52, 102-114.
  • Sajid Siraj, “Which energy mix for the UK? An evolutive descriptive mapping with the integrated GAIA-AHP visualisation tool”, Energy
  • Sajid Siraj, “A Survey of Channel Bonding for Wireless Networks and Guidelines of Channel Bonding for Futuristic Cognitive Radio Sensor Networks”, IEEE Communications Surveys & Tutorials

Simon McNair and Rob Ranyard both have forthcoming chapters in Rob’s book (in preparation) Economic psychology: The science of economic mental life and behavior, Wiley-Blackwell's British Psychological Society Textbook series.

  • Simon McNair (Forthcoming). Assessing psychological dispositions and states that can influence economic behaviour.
  • Ranyard, R. & Antonides, G. (forthcoming). Mental accounting and economic behaviour.
  • Ranyard, R., Del Missier, F., Bonini, N., & Pietrone, D. (Forthcoming). The citizen's judgments of prices and inflation.

The Centre for Decision Research was well-represented at the annual conference of the Society for Judgment and Decision Making, which is the main US conference in behavioural decision research. CDR members gave the following six presentations:

1. Rain or Shine? Does emphasising the threat posed by different climate change impacts affect feelings towards mitigation amongst the UK public? By Andrea Taylor and Barbara Summers (Centre for Decision Research, Leeds University Business School)

2. Christmas cheer can be dear! Investigating the individual factors predicting festive financial behaviors. By: Simon McNair, Barbara Summers, Wändi Bruine de Bruin, Rob Ranyard, Rob (Centre for Decision Research, Leeds University Business School)

3. How does ethical reasoning change in a personal versus professional context? An investigation of tax practitioners. By: Barbara Summers (CDR, LUBS), Elaine Doyle (University of Limerick), Jane Frecknall-Hughes, Jane (University of Hull)

4. Consumer Evaluations of Credit Card Offers. By: Alcia Chin (US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau), Wändi Bruine de Bruin, (CDR, LUBS)

5. Is it possible to design graphs that promote both risk understanding and behavior change? By: Yasmina Okan (CDR, LUBS), Eric R. Stone (Wake Forest University), Wändi Bruine de Bruin (CDR, LUBS)

6. Examining graphical display effects at different probability levels: Do effects only hold for low-probability risks? By: Eric R. Stone (Wake Forest University), Yasmina Okan (CDR, LUBS), Jaiden Bonapart, Jaiden (Wake Forest University), Andrew M. Parker (RAND Corporation); Wändi Bruine de Bruin (CDR, LUBS)

Rob Ranyard was invited to present "The psychology of inflation" for the panel, Topics in Economic Psychology at the CVM Conference, "Financial Behavior and Investor Protection, Rio de Janeiro, December 2015.

Gulbanu Kaptan presented the paper "Mental Models of Food Recalls and Foodborne Illnesses: Identifying Critical Gaps in Consumers’ Understanding" (with Baruch Fischhoff from Carnegie Mellon University) at the Society for Risk Analysis (SRA) Annual Conference that was held in Arlington, VA (USA) on 6-10 December 2015. Gulbanu also chaired the session on "Communication Formats and Responses" in the same conference.

Alan Pearman served as a Vice Chair of the European Commission Evaluation Panel responsible for selecting the 2016 cohort of Marie Skłodowska-Curie International Research Fellowship recipients.

Simon McNair was interviewed by The Yorkshire Post about his upcoming three-year Leverhulme Early Career Fellowship project in partnership with Citizens Advice Bureau in Leeds and Bradford.

Simon also appeared on Made in Leeds TV current affairs programme “On Closer Inspection”, which looked at Christmas spending behavior. Simon was part of a three-person panel, and spoke about his research into psychological resiliency and its influence on spending during the festive period.

Simon published an article entitled “Christmas cheer can be dear…” on the LUBS Research and Innovation Blog in December. The article talked about levels of spending during the festive period, as well as pressures and stress people experience at this time, and his own research into Christmas financial behaviours. T

Wandi Bruine de Bruin gave an invited seminar at the University of Pittsburgh Medical School (US). She also visited the RAND Corporation, Wake Forest University, and Carnegie Mellon University while in the US, to work on international research projects on health and environmental decision making, as well as ageing and...

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Dr Arvid Hoffmann's seminar slides on "How Does Investor Confidence Lead to Trading" are now online

29 October 2015

Dr Arvid Hoffmann, Associate Professor of Finance at Maastricht University, gave a seminar at Leeds University Business School yesterday and met with members of the CDR team.

The slides from his presentation - “How Does Investor Confidence Lead to Trading? Linking Investor Return Experiences, Confidence, and Investment Beliefs” – can be viewed here.

Dr Hoffmann’s research interests are interdisciplinary and bridge the fields of marketing and finance. In particular, he is interested in behavioral finance, consumer financial decision-making, financial services marketing, household finance, individual investor behavior, and personal finance. By integrating theories and methods from marketing as well as finance, he aims to better understand how individuals make financial decisions, such as investment choices.

Through his research, Arvid intends to inform public policy makers and practitioners on how to “debias” individuals and improve their financial decision-making through smart defaults, nudges, or primes. 

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