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

Wändi's Inagural Director Lecture Now Available to View Online

26 August 2015

In May of this year, Professor Wändi Bruine de Bruin gave an Inagural Director's lecture for the University of Michigan's Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation.

The video of Wändi's lecture is now available to view online.



Alan Pearman to lead EPSRC Impact Acceleration Project

14 August 2015

Alan Pearman is the lead academic on a newly funded EPSRC Impact Acceleration project.  Working with colleagues in the School of Biology and with the company Barefoot Lightning, they will jointly develop a decision support system based on Bayesian network modelling to improve diagnosis of pig disease by agricultural support workers in developing countries.

Alan also recently served as chair of the Industrial Management and Mathematical Finance expert panel responsible for evaluating applications for funding to Suomen Akatemia, the Research Council for Natural Sciences and Engineering of the Academy of Finland.

Sonja Perkovic to Visit Aarhus University for Three Months to Work on Eye-tracking

27 July 2015

First-year postgraduate researcher Sonja Perkovic, supervised by Dr Nicola Bown and Dr Gulbanu Kaptan (Management Division, Centre for Decision Research), received a grant of 30,000 DKK from the Aarhus University Research Foundation for a three month research visit (from September 2015) to the MAPP Centre (Research on Value Creation in the Food Sector for Consumers, Industry and Society), Aarhus University.  Here she will learn how to conduct research by using the eye-tracking methodology under the supervision of Dr Jacob Lund Orquin. During her stay, she will also participate in the PhD Course on Using Eye-tracking in Social Science Research Projects held at the University of Southern Denmark.

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