Journal of Dynamic Decision Making

About the Journal

JDDM publishes original peer-reviewed work – both theoretical and empirical – focusing on cognitive, behavioral and social processes involved in Dynamic Decision Making (DDM). DDM encompasses decision processes involving decisions at multiple points in time that may depend on previous decisions and changing conditions of the environment, often with imperfect information, conflicting goals, and multiple actors or stakeholders. JDDM is a multidisciplinary open-access journal, free of charge for both authors and readers. Contributions are expected from academic disciplines such as psychology, economy, philosophy, sociology, political science, cognitive science, system dynamics, and others. Please refer to our Focus and Scope as well as our Author Guidelines, if you are interested in making a contribution to JDDM. For further information you may also refer to our first Editorial Statement.


Recent Articles

Political complexity and the pervading role of ideology in policy-making
Benoît Béchard, Mathieu Ouimet, Helen M. Hodgetts, Frédéric Morneau-Guérin, Sébastien Tremblay

Policy-makers use different decision-making strategies and base their decisions – more or less explicitly – on both expert knowledge and opinions in order to cope with the sheer complexity of societal challenges and the political environment. Most politicians rely to some extent on personal ideology in the implementation of public policies. Potential decision biases such as ‘repair service behavior’ – the human tendency to try fixing what appears to be most problematic at first – also influence decision-making. While ideology plays a prominent role in politics, we know too little about its effect on political decision-making. Some researchers would argue that the use of ideology and repair service behavior facilitate the decision process, while others suggest that it adversely affects the ability to make objective decisions. Using a political microworld simulation that reproduces complex real-world problems, we investigate the effects of repair service behavior and personal ideology on performance in a dynamic decision-making task. Although repair service behavior was not associated with performance, the results suggest that personal ideology significantly impaired goal attainment. Despite clear instructions to be as objective as possible and think critically in completing the task, ideology was powerful enough to disrupt objective policy-making, as indicated by the deviation from optimal scores and the overall microworld task goal, i.e., to win votes and be re-elected by the end of the game.

Inviting systemic self-organization: Competencies for complexity regulation from a post-cognitivist perspective
Michael Kimmel

This contribution discusses competencies needed for regulating systems with properties of multi-causality and non-linear dynamics (therapeutic, economical, organizational, socio-political, technical, ecological, etc.). Various research communities have contributed insights, but none has come forward with an inclusive framework. To advance the debate, I propose to draw from dynamic systems theory (DST) and “4E” (embodied, embedded, enactive, and extended), cognition approaches, which offer a set of perspectives to understand what expert regulators in real-life settings do. They define the regulator's agency as skillfully imposing constraints on a target system and hereby creating context-sensitive openings for self-organizing dynamics, rather than “controlling” the system. Adept regulators apply multi-pronged and multi-timescale constraints to achieve nuanced effects. Among other things, their skill set includes scarcely noted enactive processual competencies for “emergence management”, which the intellectualistic and insufficiently ecologically situated accounts of the complex problem solving literature omit. To capture the nature of system regulation, I advocate treating regulation dynamics and target system dynamics “symmetrically” by grounding regulator competencies in concepts from complexity theory.

Anchoring and traffic effects in the virtual market platform of FIFA 20
Andrei Popescu and Klaus Fiedler

An Internet-based competitive marketing game, FIFA 20, served to investigate the effectiveness of two opposite strategies in soccer-player auctions under semi-naturalistic conditions. Granting the validity of both causal principles, the anchoring principle giving an advantage to starting with a high price (Ritov, 1996) and the traffic principle underlying the starting-low advantage (Ku, Galinsky, &Murnighan, 2006), we nevertheless expected starting low strategies to produce higher endprices under FIFA 20 conditions. Two experiments, each using multiple copies of two players from the lowest price segment (Kramaric, Pizzi) and from an elevated price segment (Laporte, Martial), corroborated these expectations. A starting-low advantage was evident in two utility aspects, enhanced average (profit) and reduced variance (uncertainty aversion) of end prices obtained for player copies offered at lower starting prices. However, when the causal impact of the manipulated starting value was overshadowed by extraneous media influences, these findings were reduced or disappeared but never reversed.

A dual processing approach to complex problem solving
Wolfgang Schoppek

This paper reflects on Dietrich Dörner's observation that participants in complex dynamic control tasks exhibit a "tendency to economize", that is, they tend to minimize cognitive effort. I interpret this observation in terms of a dual processing approach and explore if the reluctance to adopt Type 2 processing could be rooted in biological energy saving. There is evidence that the energy available for the cortex at any point in time is quite limited. Therefore, effortful thinking comes at the cost of neglecting other cortical functions. The proposed dual processing approach to complex problem solving is explored in an experiment where we varied cognitive load by means of a secondary task in order to make Type 1 or Type 2 processing more likely. Results show that cognitive load had no effect on target achievement. Even in the single task condition, many participants prefer Type 1 processing, confirming Dörner's observation.

The red trousers - about confirmative thinking and perceptual defense in complex and uncertain domains of reality
Dietrich Dörner and Ute Meck

This article is not about red trousers. The title points to a political foolishness that killed more than 100,000 soldiers. The discussion of this foolishness is an introduction to a general discussion of the reasons for political foolishness. – In her book ‘The March of Folly – From Troy to Vietnam’, Barbara Tuchman said that in the last 3,000 years mankind has made large progress, primarily in science, but also in medicine, architecture, economy, agriculture, etc. Only in politics, in the art of managing a state, nearly no progress is visible. Others share this opinion. The Swedish Chancellor in the time of Gustav II Adolph, in the time of the 30 Years’ War, Axel Oxenstierna, said to his son, who was elected for an important political position and had doubts, whether, with his 18 years, he would be able to cope with this difficult task: “If you would know, my son, with what low degree of intelligence the world is governed . . . .” – In surveys about the reputation of professions, politicians normally get low ranks. Why is that so? – In this article we try to give an answer to that question. The answer is very simple. Foolish decisions are reducible firstly to a low or wavering self-esteem. Secondly, they are based on a lack of phantasy; politicians have difficulties in finding new solutions for problems. – This answer is not at all new; already Platon and – nearly at the same time – the ancient Indian Bhagavad Gita gave the same response. In this article we develop a theory about political foolishness.

The impact of moral motives on economic decision-making
Katharina G. Kugler, Julia Reif, Gesa-Kristina Petersen, Felix C. Brodbeck

We examined the question of how “salient others” (i.e., social situations) influence economic decisions. We proposed that moral motives (which are mechanisms for relationship regulation) actively shape economic decisions in social situations. In an experiment (N = 94), we varied the decision situation (anonymous social one-shot interaction vs. non-anonymous social ongoing interaction vs. anonymous non-social one-shot interaction) and the moral motive (unity vs. proportionality). As hypothesized, moral motives influenced decision behavior only in social situations but not in non-social situations. In addition, we showed that in anonymous social one-shot situations (which are common situations for economic decisions), individuals are susceptible to situational moral motive framing (i.e., cues in the task description). In contrast, situational cues were ineffective if a moral motive was already established in the relationship between interacting partners. The results showed that moral motives matter in economic decision-making and that people infer information about morally “appropriate” behavior in anonymous social interactions from moral cues provided by the situation. The presented research offers a psychological explanation for why individuals make different decisions in economic decision situations depending on the social situation.