Aging and cognitive functions

The present research proposal aims to study the decision-making processes from an alternative perspective, through scientific methods, to optimize and improve them. The current study perspective focuses in particular on the differences observed in the laboratory in-group rather than individual behavior and decision-making processes. In the last twenty years, however, studies have begun to focus on and highlight individual decision-making as well by observing and studying it as a separate feature from general mental abilities. Individual decision-making has always been neglected by the most widespread variables for measuring intelligence. However, given that the consequences of an incorrect decision-making process, and therefore of an incorrect decision (or series of decisions) could be harmful, it is essential to examine which sub-optimal decisions could predict risk on the part of the individual. The current research proposal, therefore, attempts to link the discoveries and advances in research on individual decision-making with research that instead deals with identifying at source risk behaviors for health. By integrating these two research perspectives it is also possible to better conceptualize what are the incipits for the development of advantageous decisions for the individual. The usefulness of this research is linked to the possibility of developing a broader and more complete taxonomy of heuristics and biases (mental shortcuts used by the brain to simplify decisions). The project adopts an approach that entails identifying and categorizing the multiplicity of elements involved in the decision-making process. Such elements would deny the idea that instead there is only one element of decision-making competence (see Ceschi, Costantini, Phillips, & Sartori, 2017; Ceschi, Demerouti, Sartori, and Weller, 2017).
The present research project also attempts to show the presence of coherent relationships between heuristics and prejudices with a series of elements (for example, skills, knowledge, self-regulation, etc.). These variables, also considering the differences between each of us, can be developable characteristics, which could be improved to avoid certain heuristics or biases (for example, the Debiasing program; see Larrick, 2004) includes the strategies by which individuals approach decisions and improve. This improvement in decision-making is essential for physical, mental, and long-term economic well-being. It is important to remember how several studies have shown that the tendency to react and respond irrationally (due to incorrect decision-making processes) is associated with problematic behaviors and outcomes throughout life (Bruine DeBruin et al., 2007; Peters, Dieckmann, & Weller, 2011; Weller, Levin, Rose, E Bossard, 2012). In conclusion, it is fair to suggest that research could be designed to promote better decision making by teaching debiasing strategies (aimed therefore at eliminating or minimizing influences on decision making) which should consider the current dimensions on the evidence of heuristics and bias to organize training and have a better impact on decision-making results in everyday life.

The role of decision-making processes and individual differences in the JD-R model

The current proposal offers the ability to bridge advances in Honesty decision-making and some individual differences, such as personality traits (i.e., Grit and Humility) and inclinations toward the development of personal resources (i.e., Resilience) with research investigating job performance and well-being in individuals. This proposal represents a significant extension of past research of understanding the etiology of suboptimal decision-making and the connected role of individual differences. Although we have evidence that individuals who demonstrate lower Decision-Making Competency (DMCy) or in Grit and Resilience engage in more hamstrung behaviors, less is known about how this individual approach affects workable models, such as the JD-R model. Though a robust literature exists on individual differences and decision-making, this research is largely confined to group-level differences observed in psychology laboratories.
Summarizing, this purpose aims to bridge this gap in knowledge. When individuals present poor DMCy levels, low Grit and lack of some personal resources (i.e., Resilience) present the likelihood of unfavorable long-run consequences (i.e., managing poorly job demands, developing inconsistently personal resources, etc.) and this might also be considered an indicator of poor job performance in organizations.
In conclusion, by integrating these research perspectives, we can better conceptualize the antecedents of the development of advantageous behavior in work placements. Regarding the implications of the research, within this frame, the project will help to better analyze the psychological facets of a correct assessment in organizations.

 

References

Ceschi, A., Demerouti, E., Sartori, R., & Weller, J. (2017). Decision-making processes in the workplace: how exhaustion, lack of resources and job demands impair them and affect performance. Frontiers in psychology, 8, 313.

Ceschi, A., Costantini, A., Dickert, S., & Sartori, R. (2017). The impact of occupational rewards on risk taking among managers. Journal of Personnel Psychology.

Ceschi, A., Costantini, A., Sartori, R., Weller, J., & Di Fabio, A. (2019). Dimensions of decision-making: an evidence-based classification of heuristics and biases. Personality and Individual Differences, 146, 188-200. (indicizzato: Scopus e WOS; Cit. 8; IF: 2.311)

Peters, E., Dieckmann, N. F., & Weller, J. (2011). Age differences in complex decision making. In Handbook of the Psychology of Aging (pp. 133-151). Academic Press.

Bruine de Bruin, W., Parker, A. M., & Fischhoff, B. (2007). Individual differences in adult decision-making competence. Journal of personality and social psychology, 92(5), 938.

Larrick, R. P. (2004). Debiasing. Blackwell handbook of judgment and decision making, 316-338.

Weller, J. A., Levin, I. P., Rose, J. P., & Bossard, E. (2012). Assessment of decision‐making competence in preadolescence. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 25(4), 414-426.

Weller, J., Ceschi, A., Hirsch, L., Sartori, R., & Costantini, A. (2018). Accounting for individual differences in decision-making competence: Personality and gender differences. Frontiers in psychology, 2258.