Basic and applied decision making in cancer control

Michael Edward Stefanek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: This presentation will focus on the question "How do people make health decisions that may impact risk of disease, treatment, morbidity, and mortality?" and will review findings in basic decision making research (e.g., biases, heuristics, framing effects) that may inform work with cancer patients involved in decisions ranging from cancer prevention to palliative care, and examine ongoing research needs. Methods: A broad review of decision-making across the cancer control continuum will be presented, along with potentially relevant findings from research outside of cancer control related to basic psychological processes in decision making. The potential of translational work in decision making to directly impact patient care will be highlighted. Results: There is an existing literature investigating cognitive biases, heuristics, and the role of affect in decision making that has not been optimally utilized in applied cancer control decision making. Conclusions: There is a need to encourage translational research in decision making. This means not only allowing work in basic research to inform clinical care, but for the issue relevant in applied cancer control to impact the type of work investigated in the cognitive laboratory. There needs to be increased attention to this position among funding agencies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-164
Number of pages2
JournalPsychology and Health
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
StatePublished - Jun 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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