Postgraduate Research Project
Title: Cognitive processes underlying surrogate decision making
A large proportion of our everyday decisions are made on behalf of other people. In such cases we act as a surrogate decision maker by making a decision of which the outcome will impact another person – the recipient of the decision. Surrogate decisions do not always match the decision the recipient would have made for themselves. This is not surprising given that people often fail to make accurate predictions of other people’s preferences. It could also be that in some cases a decision maker does not intend to choose according to what the recipient would want but is motivated by what he or she thinks is in their best interest. The quality and accuracy of such decisions is worth assessing considering the consequences and impact they can have. The aim of my research is to further our knowledge and understanding of the cognitive processes and psychological factors which lead people to make different decisions for others than they would make for themselves.