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Decisions, decisions: How our choices are determined by the ways they are framed

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posted on 30.11.2018, 00:00 by Adam Gerace
In today’s article, we consider research into what influences our decision-making processes. Amos Tversky and Daniel Kahneman are legendary within and outside of psychology for their work on the tools we use to make judgements and decisions under conditions of uncertainty or risk. In their 1981 article, “The framing of decisions and the psychology of choice”, they presented compelling data that indicates that whether people are risk averse or risk taking when choosing between alternatives is greatly determined by the way a problem is presented to them. For example, when a choice is presented as the difference between two ‘gain’ scenarios, we are far more risk averse than if they are presented as two ‘loss’ scenarios’. The possibility of a gain makes us more careful. The possibility of a loss makes us more likely to take a risk. The principles uncovered by these researchers are fundamental to how we understand decisions around economics and health behaviours, as well as suggesting ways we can make better decisions.

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