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

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.

Supporting open access publishing in the field of dynamic decision making
Wolfgang Schoppek, Andreas Fischer, Joachim Funke, Daniel Holt, Alexander N. Wendt

In contrast to the successful previous year, 2020 turned out to be difficult, not only for the earth’s population due to COVID-19 but also for JDDM with an unusually small sixth volume. Looking back at these two very different years back-to-back led us to some reflection: As the COVID-19 pandemic forcefully illustrates, dynamic decision-making (DDM) with all its complications and uncertainty is a topic of high relevance for modern societies.


Jason Harman, Claudia Gonzalez-Valejjo, Jeffrey B. Vancouver
The sunk cost fallacy is a well-established phenomenon where decision makers continue to commit resources, or escalate commitment, because of previously committed efforts, even when they have knowledge that their returns will not outweigh their investment. Most research on the sunk cost fallacy is done using hypothetical scenarios where participants make a single decision to continue with a project or to abandon it. This paradigm has several limitations and has resulted in a relatively limited understanding sunk cost behavior. To address some of these limitations, we created a dynamic repeated choice paradigm where sunk costs are learned over time and opportunity costs are explicit. Over three experiments we show that the sunk cost fallacy depends on the relative a priori importance of the goal being invested in. We observed escalation of commitment only when the sunk cost domain is more important than alternatives (explicit opportunity costs), and participants showed de-escalation of commitment to the sunk costs domain otherwise.
Adapt or Exchange: Making changes within or between contexts in a modular plant scenario
Romy Müller, Leon Urbas
Most psychological studies investigating the balance between stability and flexibility in decision making use specific restrictions in their scenarios. These restrictions are likely to affect decision process, and it is unclear which of the findings can be transferred to more naturalistic decision contexts that call for a balance between stability and flexibility. Therefore, the present study used a scenario that is inspired by the problem structure found in a particular domain: Adapt/Exchange decisions in modular chemical plants. In this setting, we investigated whether participants engage in a thorough comparison of options and whether they perseverate on their previous choices when decision sequences increasingly favour one or the other option. The results ... (more)


Volume 2021