Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


DECISIONS Report Summary

Project ID: 615596
Funded under: FP7-IDEAS-ERC
Country: United Kingdom

Mid-Term Report Summary - DECISIONS (Choices and consumption: modelling long and short term decisions in a changing world)

Human activity is characterised by choices, with long-term as well as short-term effects. Over the course of our lives, we decide, possibly repeatedly, where to live and whether to buy a house, we choose an education and a career, decide who, if anyone, to live with, in what type of relationship and also whether to have children (and how many). We make many financial investment decisions and finally decide on when to retire (or stop looking for new work). In the medium term, we repeatedly decide when and where to go on holiday and whether to buy new appliances or vehicles. Finally, we make many day to day decisions, relating to the timing and type of the activities we conduct, the meals we eat and the way in which we travel between activities.

The DECISIONS projects aims to provide a step change in the development and application of mathematical models that are used to represent and predict such decisions, and in the design of approaches used to collect data that are used to inform these models. In our work so far, we have developed a unique cross-disciplinary and cross-platform survey that provides an overview of participants’ long term and short term behaviour, as well as insights into their beliefs, attitudes and social influences. We have also improved the behavioural realism of what are often abstract mathematical models, by moving away from the main paradigms for preference elicitation and by incorporating ideas from psychology and neuroscience.

The outputs of our work are not only advancing science in our field of research, but also provide important insights into how people make decisions, how their long term and short term behaviour is related to each other, and how they are influenced by those around them. This will allow industry and policy makers to make better provision to serve the demand for products and services as well as insights into how to guide choices in the context of major environmental and financial constraints.

Reported by

United Kingdom
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