Our lives consist of a constant stream of decisions and choices, from the mundane ("Will I answer this email?") to the highly consequential ("Will I have a child?”), and understanding how people make choices is important to entities choosing how to enact public policy (“How can we ensure people pay their taxes?”). The enterprise of constructing theoretical and practical models of how we decide and choose has occupied thinkers for many centuries. Indeed, multiple academic disciplines have made efforts to build models of decision-making that both describe and prescribe this behaviour, from early philosophical approaches of understanding choice, through economic and mathematical models of optimal decision-making, to psychological and neuroscientific efforts to examine the mechanisms underlying our choices. In parallel, how our decision-making affects real-world choice is of central interest in areas such as legal, medical, and political decision-making, where the decisions of judges, medical specialists, and policy-makers are of great importance.
What is the Radboud Center for Decision Science?
The Radboud Center for Decision Science is an interfaculty research center established at Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands. The mission of the Center is to promote the interdisciplinary study of human decision-making and to apply emerging insights from decision science to help tackle society's greatest challenges. Central to this mission is linking decision science researchers with policy professionals and practitioners, with the ultimate objective of bridging the gap between research and applied settings. The primary goals of the Center are thus: (1) to provide a network for academic scholars studying decision-making to collaborate on fundamental questions and (2) to help inform policy and practice through engagement with policy professionals and practitioners.
What is our approach?
In order to achieve these goals, the Center adopts a "3 I's approach" - investigate, integrate and inform. Through interdisciplinary research and collaboration, the Center aims to investigate the mechanisms, processes, and consequences of human decision-making. The generation of evidence is integrated into, and guided by, efforts (including policies, strategies and planning) to understand and address pressing societal and environmental challenges. Relevant stakeholders are informed of emerging decision science research through published work, organised events and training programs to ultimately help usefully guide policy and practice.
What is our focus?
The Center’s efforts are focussed on 6 Impact Areas, inspired by the framework set by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Each Impact Area has a twin focus of 1) better understanding fundamental decision behaviour and 2) better informing practice and appropriate policy selection. To read more about our areas of focus, click on our Impact Areas below.