The Decision Science Hub is a novel multidisciplinary initiative at the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences that provides a framework for studying decision making and related cognitive and neural processes, which contribute to decision making.
We provide researchers with a platform for this important integrative research and for collaborations with partners from across different disciplines, research institutes, and external partners – including government departments, the healthcare sector and industry. This multidisciplinary approach will be critical for making important contributions to the complex multifactorial problems that currently challenge Australian policy makers. In particular, our partnerships with government and industry help with translating basic research to policy and innovation at the scale necessary to affect significant community benefits.
Decision science has direct relevance to health choices and other real-world behaviours. From driving a car to judging social cues individuals are continually making rapid judgements about their environment in order to select appropriate actions and behaviours. In many instances it is clear that poor decisions can have major negative health outcomes.
A better understanding of the decision-making processes will inform intervention strategies and have relevance to a range of policy challenges that Australia will face in the next 25 years. Many of the major chronic health challenges, including mental health, obesity, cardiovascular health and cancer, and many others; but also personal life challenges, such as superannuation, career and family choices, personal wealth, and many others, involve a lifetime of implicit and explicit decisions. These decisions significantly contribute to the aetiology and burden of medical conditions or will strongly influence the life of individuals.