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

Lucas, James Joseph (2015). Decision-making stress and satisfaction : a cognitive-affective model. PhD Thesis, Charles Darwin University.

Document type: Thesis
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Author Lucas, James Joseph
Title Decision-making stress and satisfaction : a cognitive-affective model
Institution Charles Darwin University
Publication Date 2015-07
Thesis Type PhD
Supervisor Moore, Kate
Abstract 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.
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