Decision Making Under Uncertainty : Extension to COVID-19 Related Behaviors
Sherman, Sydney L.
Lagorio, Carla H.
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Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, many U.S. citizens have largely been left to make personal risk-benefit decisions for themselves, with some mandated and enforced restrictions. People’s everyday decisions about life activities now include a cost-benefit analysis involving probabilistic risk of disease associated with probabilistic disease severity, and we have seen people adopt differing strategies for a variety of reasons. For example, even in a group of people with similar risk factors for severe disease from a COVID-19 infection, some might find going to the gym an acceptable risk and some might not. The area of behavioral economics provides an approach to understanding decision making that incorporates psychological and economic principles. This approach seeks to understand how specific behavioral mechanisms influence choice behavior and accounts for individual differences. Among these mechanisms, in particular the current research will investigate delay discounting (how positive or negative outcomes are devalued as they are delayed) and probability discounting (how positive or negative outcomes lose value when their receipt is uncertain), with the goal of better understanding how these factors might relate to personal risk decision-making strategies during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Covid-19 Pandemic, 2020
Department of Psychology
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