Selecting a decision strategy

Selecting a decision strategy

Master thesis project

Dual-processing models distinguish between a fast, automatic and effortless system (system 1) and a slow, deliberate, effortful system (system 2) (Evans, 2008). Consciously made decisions, trading of all pros and cons of available options, is typically a system 2 activity, whereas intuitively made decisions ensues from system 1. However, there are all kinds of interactions between the two systems (Morewedge & Kahneman, 2010). One may, for example, know that risks of flying are low, but still feel very reluctant to get in an airplane. In that situation there is a conflict between the outcomes of system 1 and system 2.

Even though we know that people can use a range of decision strategies, only limited research has been done on how a specific decision strategy is chosen. When does one rely on gut feeling, and when are thorough deliberations needed? Are decisions makers aware of the specific heuristics they select and how do factors as numeracy or affect influence strategy choice (Pachur & Galesic, 2013)?

In this project we will further investigate how decision makers select a specific strategy with a focus on the interaction between system 1 and system 2.


Experimental research

Starting literature

Evans, J. S. B. (2008). Dual-processing accounts of reasoning, judgment, and social cognition. Annu. Rev. Psychol., 59, 255-278.

Morewedge, C. K., & Kahneman, D. (2010). Associative processes in intuitive judgment. Trends in cognitive sciences, 14(10), 435-440.

Pachur, T., & Galesic, M. (2013). Strategy selection in risky choice: The impact of numeracy, affect, and cross‐cultural differences. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 26(3), 260-271.


Can be started directly.

Are you interested in this topic? Please contact the coordinator Sven Zebel (