Decision-making processes of youth

Moore, J.W.; Jensen, B.; Hauck, W.E.

Adolescence 25(99): 583-592


ISSN/ISBN: 0001-8449
PMID: 2264508
Document Number: 366274
Research supports the theory that after administrators make a decision, feedback, both positive and negative, and also the administrators' perceived security vis-à-vis their position affect their level of commitment to a course of action. However, this research fails to recognize that subjects of college age playing administrators in the simulated, experimental treatments which have been presented in the research had nothing personally to lose if they made a bad decision--an orientation contradictory to the reality of most actual administrative positions. Additionally, the research ignores the interactional effects of the personality of decision makers in terms of their anxiety levels and the judgments they make. This study took both of these considerations into account by creating a decision-making situation within which prospective administrators made monetary commitments to long-term goals while their anxiety level, both as a basic personality attribute and an index of the reality of the decision-making process, was monitored under conditions of varying levels of job insecurity and resistance to their policies in relation to their decisions. Analyses revealed that contrary to the results of past research which used college students as subjects: (1) there is a significant negative correlation between levels of anxiety and commitments to previously chosen courses of action; (2) there are no significant effects of job security on commitment; and, most importantly, (3) high resistance to a policy decision leads to significantly less monetary commitments to long-term goals. The findings suggest that the basis for the contradictory results lies with the anxiety level of decision makers and the realism of experiencing a loss by making poor decisions.

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