DMUU: Understanding and Improving Environmental Decisions
- Lead PI: Ben Orlove , Professor David H. Krantz , Elke Weber, Kenneth Broad
Unit Affiliation: Center for Research on Environmental Decisions (CRED)
- September 2015 - August 2019
- Project Type: Research
This collaborative group will continue ongoing efforts to study individual and group decision making under climate uncertainty and decision making in the face of environmental risk. The researchers will focus on synthesizing theoretical and empirical results of studies conducted over the last ten years in areas such as agriculture and water management. Three themes have connected the various research projects: the presentation and use of scientific information, the role of social context across different scales, and the effects of decision architecture. The collaborative group will synthesize project results generated across different sectors, cultures, and theoretical frameworks. The focus will be on the development of products that benefit the broad academic and practitioner communities, such as a book, educational videos, and tutorials. These materials will be available to inform future studies of environmental decision goals and processes and the communication of scientific information related to environmental science in order to motivate sustainability. The collaborative group will maintain its international network of expertise and researchers through virtual connections.
The investigators will synthesize theoretical and empirical results from their prior research generated across different sectors, cultures, and theoretical frameworks and translate those results into a form accessible to other researchers. Synthesis and integration efforts of sector-based field project results (in the areas of climate, water, hazards, energy) will enable researchers to infer the influence of central constructs from cognitive and social psychology in environmental perception and decisions. Comparing findings across sectors, particularly pertaining to the description-experience gap, will allow researchers to disentangle the effect of different elements of personal experience. Synthesis activities will focus on choice architecture, where behavioral decision theories and insights are turned into interventions. A meta-analysis of the relative effectiveness of different choice architecture interventions in different domains and with different populations of decision makers will generate a matrix, including data from this collaborative group and others.