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Owen-Smith says universities must demonstrate value of higher education

Armstrong says USC's removal of questions from a required Title IX training module may reflect student-administration relations

Fomby finds living with step- or half-siblings linked to higher aggression among 5 year olds

Highlights

PRB training program in policy communication for pre-docs. Application deadline, 2.28.2016

Call for proposals: PSID small grants for research on life course impacts on later life wellbeing

PSC News, fall 2015 now available

Barbara Anderson appointed chair of Census Scientific Advisory Committee

Next Brown Bag

Monday, Feb 1 at noon, 6050 ISR-Thompson
Sarah Miller

Screen shot of complex data analysis

New methods for modeling decision making in social science

8/1/2014 feature story

Elizabeth Bruch and colleagues develop a framework for linking marketing statistical models to agent-based models of decision making, and apply the statistical framework to decision-making phenomena of interest in population dynamics.

More Information.

Elizabeth Eve Bruch

Project Information:

Cognitively Plausible Models of Decision Making

The statistical models used in quantitative social science and public health research are rarely plausible models of the underlying behavior or decision-making process that gave rise to the social phenomenon under investigation. Researchers in business and marketing use much more sophisticated statistical models of how people navigate their environment and make decisions, which draw on insights from cognitive science and decision theory. But these methods have never been applied in population health to decision modeling, and they are much more difficult to master than techniques currently in use. An initial investigation into marketing statistical methods found no standard statistical software, but rather programs usually written from scratch; and no single model or methodological approach, but rather a loose “toolkit” of techniques or strategies customized for specific applications. In addition, models often rely on Bayesian estimation techniques, which require significant expertise outside of standardized software packages. My aims in this project are to: (1) master the statistical skills involved in estimating these models, and gain a formal understanding of the underlying theories of decision making; (2) adapt the marketing statistical models to new substantive applications; (3) develop a methodological framework for linking these “cognitively plausible” models of individual decision-making with agent-based models to understand the implications of decision strategies for aggregate population dynamics; and (4) explore how this statistical framework may be applied to a broader range of decision-making applications relevant to health research. My analysis will apply the choice-modeling framework in two areas of research: mate choice (as observed on an online dating website) and neighborhood choice.

Elizabeth Eve Bruch, Fred M. Feinberg

Feature Archive.