Decision-making stress and satisfaction
: a cognitive-affective model

  • James Joseph Lucas

    Student thesis: Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) - CDU


    Researchers have utilised normative, heuristic, and process approaches to understand people’s decision-making but with less focus on how satisfying these decisions are. There is a gap in the literature regarding the contribution of appraisals, stress, coping, and metacognitive awareness and acceptance to decision satisfaction. The conflict approach to decision-making, cognitive theories of stress and coping, and recent developments in cognitive-behavioural therapies may further our understanding of decision satisfaction. A Cognitive-Affective Model of Decision-Making Stress and Satisfaction was developed from the literature and tested in a three-phase longitudinal study. In Phase One (n = 182 adults; Mage = 40.48 years; SD = 12.04), a modified model focusing on a decision related to participants’ occupation or study was supported. It explained 61% of the variance in participants’ decision satisfaction. In Phase Two (n = 84; Mage = 39.43 years, SD = 11.94), the model was found to be invariant across a family/relationship decision. In Phase Three (n = 54; Mage = 39.54 years; SD = 12.29), model replication was not feasible although mean differences in the model’s manifest factors across occupation/study, family/relationship, and physical/mental health decision types were small or not significant, suggesting that the model is potentially invariant across all three decision types. The Cognitive-Affective Model of Decision-Making Stress and Satisfaction has both theoretical and practical implications for clinicians and researchers alike. These implications are discussed together with the thesis’ limitations and avenues for future research.
    Date of AwardJul 2015
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorKathleen Moore (Supervisor)

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