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Psychology (Optional) Notes & Mind Maps

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    1.1 Definition of Psychology
  2. 1.2 Historical antecedents of Psychology and trends in the 21st century
  3. 1.3 Psychology and scientific methods
  4. 1.4 Psychology in relation to other social sciences and natural sciences
  5. 1.5 Application of Psychology to societal problems
    2.1 Types of research: Descriptive, evaluative, diagnostic, and prognostic
  7. 2.2 Methods of Research: Survey, observation, case-study, and experiments
  8. 2.3 Experimental, Non-Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Designs
  9. 2.4 Focused group discussions
  10. 2.5 Brainstorming
  11. 2.6 Grounded theory approach
    3.1 Major Steps in Psychological research
    6 Submodules
  13. 3.2 Fundamental versus applied research
  14. 3.3 Methods of Data Collection
    3 Submodules
  15. 3.4 Research designs (ex-post facto and experimental)
  16. 3.5 Application of Statistical Technique
    5 Submodules
  17. 3.6 Item Response Theory
    4.1 Growth and Development, Principles of Development
  19. 4.2 Role of genetic and environmental factors in determining human behavior
  20. 4.3 Influence of cultural factors in socialization
  21. 4.4 Life span development (Characteristics, development tasks, promoting psychological well-being across major stages of the life span)
    5.1 Sensation
    2 Submodules
  23. 5.2 Attention: factors influencing attention
    1 Submodule
  24. 5.3 Perception
    11 Submodules
  25. 6. LEARNING
    6.1 Concept and theories of learning (Behaviourists, Gestaltalist and Information processing models)
  26. 6.2 The Processes of extinction, discrimination, and generalization
  27. 6.3 Programmed learning
  28. 6.4 Probability Learning
  29. 6.5 Self-Instructional Learning
  30. 6.6 Types and the schedules of reinforcement
  31. 6.7 Escape, Avoidance and Punishment
  32. 6.8 Modeling
  33. 6.9 Social Learning
  34. 7. MEMORY
    7.1 Encoding and Remembering
  35. 7.2 Short term memory
  36. 7.3 Long term memory
  37. 7.4 Sensory Memory - Iconic, Echoic & Haptic Memory
  38. 7.5 Multistore Model of Memory
  39. 7.6 Levels of Processing
  40. 7.7 Organization and Mnemonic techniques to improve memory
  41. 7.8 Theories of forgetting: decay, interference and retrieval failure
  42. 7.9 Metamemory
    8.1 Piaget’s theory of cognitive development
  44. 8.2 Concept formation processes
  45. 8.3 Information Processing
  46. 8.4 Reasoning and problem-solving
  47. 8.5 Facilitating and hindering factors in problem-solving
  48. 8.6 Methods of problem-solving: Creative thinking and fostering creativity
  49. 8.7 Factors influencing decision making and judgment
  50. 8.8 Recent Trends in Thinking and Problem Solving
  51. 9. Motivation and Emotion
    9.1 Psychological and physiological basis of motivation and emotion
  52. 9.2 Measurement of motivation and emotion
  53. 9.3 Effects of motivation and emotion on behavior
  54. 9.4 Extrinsic and intrinsic motivation
  55. 9.5 Factors influencing intrinsic motivation
  56. 9.6 Emotional competence and the related issues
  57. 10. Intelligence and Aptitude
    10.1 Concept of intelligence and aptitude
  58. 10.2 Nature and theories of intelligence: Spearman, Thurstone, Guilford Vernon, Sternberg and J.P Das
  59. 10.3 Emotional Intelligence
  60. 10.4 Social Intelligence
  61. 10.5 Measurement of intelligence and aptitudes
  62. 10.6 Concept of IQ
  63. 10.7 Deviation IQ
  64. 10.8 The constancy of IQ
  65. 10.9 Measurement of multiple intelligence
  66. 10.10 Fluid intelligence and crystallized intelligence
  67. 11. Personality
    11.1 Definition and concept of personality
  68. 11.2 Theories of personality (psychoanalytical, sociocultural, interpersonal, developmental, humanistic, behaviouristic, trait and type approaches)
  69. 11.3 Measurement of personality (projective tests, pencil-paper test)
  70. 11.4 The Indian approach to personality
  71. 11.5 Training for personality development
  72. 11.6 Latest approaches like big 5-factor theory
  73. 11.7 The notion of self in different traditions
  74. 12. Attitudes, Values, and Interests
    12.1 Definition of attitudes, values, and interests
  75. 12.2 Components of attitudes
  76. 12.3 Formation and maintenance of attitudes
  77. 12.4 Measurement of attitudes, values, and interests
  78. 12.5 Theories of attitude change
  79. 12.6 Strategies for fostering values
  80. 12.7 Formation of stereotypes and prejudices
  81. 12.8 Changing others behavior
  82. 12.9 Theories of attribution
  83. 12.10 Recent trends in Attitudes, Values and Interests
  84. 13. Language and Communication
    13.1 Properties of Human Language
  85. 13.2 Structure of language and linguistic hierarchy
  86. 13.3 Language acquisition: Predisposition & critical period hypothesis
  87. 13.4 Theories of language development: Skinner and Chomsky
  88. 13.5 Process and types of communication – effective communication training
  89. 14. Issues and Perspectives in Modern Contemporary Psychology
    14.1 Computer application in the psychological laboratory and psychological testing
  90. 14.2 Artificial Intelligence and Psychology
  91. 14.3 Psychocybernetics
  92. 14.4 Study of consciousness-sleep-wake schedules
  93. 14.5 Dreams
  94. 14.6 Stimulus deprivation
  95. 14.7 Meditation
  96. 14.8 Hypnotic/drug-induced states
  97. 14.9 Extrasensory perception
  98. 14.10 Intersensory perception & simulation studies
  99. 15. Psychological Measurement of Individual Differences
    15.1 The nature of individual differences
  100. 15.2 Characteristics and construction of standardized psychological tests
  101. 15.3 Types of psychological tests
  102. 15.4 Use, misuse, limitation & ethical issues of psychological tests
  103. 15.5 Concept of health-ill health
  104. 15.6 Positive health & well being
  105. 15.7 Causal factors in mental disorders (Anxiety disorders, mood disorders, schizophrenia, and delusional disorders; personality disorders, substance abuse disorders)
  106. 15.8 Factors influencing positive health, well being, lifestyle and quality of life
  107. 15.9 Happiness Disposition
  108. 16. Therapeutic Approaches
    16.1 Introduction: Overview of Therapeutic Approaches and Their Importance in Mental Health
  109. 16.2 Psychodynamic therapies
  110. 16.3 Behavior Therapies
  111. 16.4 Client centered therapy
  112. 16.5 Indigenous therapies (Yoga, Meditation)
  113. 16.6 Fostering mental health
  114. 17. Work Psychology and Organisational Behaviour
    17.1 Personnel selection and training
  115. 17.2 Use of psychological tests in the industry
  116. 17.3 Training and human resource development
  117. 17.4 Theories of work motivation – Herzberg, Maslow, Adam Equity theory, Porter and Lawler, Vroom
  118. 17.5 Advertising and marketing
  119. 17.6 Stress and its management
  120. 17.7 Ergonomics
  121. 17.8 Consumer Psychology
  122. 17.9 Managerial effectiveness
  123. 17.10 Transformational leadership
  124. 17.11 Sensitivity training
  125. 17.12 Power and politics in organizations
  126. 18. Application of Psychology to Educational Field
    18.1 Psychological principles underlying effective teaching-learning process
  127. 18.2 Learning Styles
  128. 18.3 Gifted, retarded, learning disabled and their training
  129. 18.4 Training for improving memory and better academic achievement
  130. 18.5 Personality development and value education, Educational, vocational guidance and career counseling
  131. 18.6 Use of psychological tests in educational institutions
  132. 18.7 Effective strategies in guidance programs
  133. 19. Community Psychology
    19.1 Definition and concept of community psychology
  134. 19.2 Use of small groups in social action
  135. 19.3 Arousing community consciousness and action for handling social problems
  136. 19.4 Group decision making and leadership for social change
  137. 19.5 Effective strategies for social change
  138. 20. Rehabilitation Psychology
    20.1 Primary, secondary and tertiary prevention programs-role of psychologists
  139. 20.2 Organising of services for the rehabilitation of physically, mentally and socially challenged persons including old persons
  140. 20.3 Rehabilitation of persons suffering from substance abuse, juvenile delinquency, criminal behavior
  141. 20.4 Rehabilitation of victims of violence
  142. 20.5 Rehabilitation of HIV/AIDS victims
  143. 20.6 The role of social agencies
  144. 21. Application of Psychology to disadvantaged groups
    21.1 The concepts of disadvantaged, deprivation
  145. 21.2 Social, physical, cultural, and economic consequences of disadvantaged and deprived groups
  146. 21.3 Educating and motivating the disadvantaged towards development
  147. 21.4 Relative and prolonged deprivation
  148. 22. Psychological problems of social integration
    22.1 The concept of social integration
  149. 22.2 The problem of caste, class, religion and language conflicts and prejudice
  150. 22.3 Nature and the manifestation of prejudice between the in-group and out-group
  151. 22.4 Causal factors of social conflicts and prejudices
  152. 22.5 Psychological strategies for handling the conflicts and prejudices
  153. 22.6 Measures to achieve social integration
  154. 23. Application of Psychology in Information Technology and Mass Media
    23.1 The present scenario of information technology and the mass media boom and the role of psychologists
  155. 23.2 Selection and training of psychology professionals to work in the field of IT and mass media
  156. 23.3 Distance learning through IT and mass media
  157. 23.4 Entrepreneurship through e-commerce
  158. 23.5 Multilevel marketing
  159. 23.6 Impact of TV and fostering value through IT and mass media
  160. 23.7 Psychological consequences of recent developments in Information Technology
  161. 24. Psychology and Economic development
    24.1 Achievement motivation and economic development
  162. 24.2 Characteristics of entrepreneurial behavior
  163. 24.3 Motivating and training people for entrepreneurship and economic development
  164. 24.4 Consumer rights and consumer awareness
  165. 24.5 Government policies for the promotion of entrepreneurship among youth including women entrepreneurs
  166. 25. Application of psychology to environment and related fields
    25.1 Environmental psychology- effects of noise, pollution, and crowding
  167. 25.2 Population psychology: psychological consequences of population explosion and high population density
  168. 25.3 Motivating for small family norm
  169. 25.4 Impact of rapid scientific and technological growth on degradation of the environment
  170. 26. Application of psychology in other fields
    26.1 [Military Psychology] Devising psychological tests for defense personnel for use in selection, Training, counseling
  171. 26.2 [Military Psychology] Training psychologists to work with defense personnel in promoting positive health
  172. 26.3 [Military Psychology] Human engineering in defense
  173. 26.4 Sports Psychology
  174. 26.5 Media influences on pro and antisocial behavior
  175. 26.6 Psychology of Terrorism
  176. 27. Psychology of Gender
    27.1 Issues of discrimination
  177. 27.2 Management of Diversity
  178. 27.3 Glass ceiling effect
  179. 27.4 Self-fulfilling prophesy
  180. 27.5 Women and Indian society
Module 49 of 180
In Progress

8.7 Factors influencing decision making and judgment


Decision making refers to the process of selecting among various options or alternatives. It involves choosing a course of action based on the available information, preferences, and goals. On the other hand, judgment refers to the process of evaluating different options and making a decision based on the value or quality of each option. Both decision making and judgment are complex processes that involve various cognitive, emotional, social, developmental, and biological factors.

Importance of Studying Factors Influencing Decision Making and Judgment

Studying the factors that influence decision making and judgment is important for a variety of reasons, including:

  1. Improving decision making: By understanding the factors that influence decision making and judgment, we can make better decisions that align with our goals and values. For example, if we understand the impact of emotions on decision making, we can take steps to regulate our emotions to make more rational decisions.
  2. Reducing biases: Decision making and judgment can be influenced by a variety of biases, including cognitive biases, social biases, and cultural biases. By studying these biases, we can become more aware of them and take steps to reduce their impact on our decisions.
  3. Enhancing problem-solving skills: Decision making and judgment are critical components of problem-solving. By studying the factors that influence these processes, we can become better problem solvers and make more effective decisions.
  4. Improving communication and collaboration: Decision making and judgment often involve working with others. By understanding the factors that influence decision making and judgment, we can communicate more effectively and collaborate more efficiently.

Cognitive Factors

Cognitive factors play a significant role in decision making and judgment. These factors can be divided into three main categories: perception, memory, and reasoning.

A. Perception

Perception refers to the way individuals interpret and make sense of the world around them. Several factors within perception can influence decision making and judgment:

  • Selective Attention: This is the process of focusing on specific aspects of information while ignoring other aspects. Selective attention can lead to biases in decision making, as people may not consider all relevant information when making choices.
  • Confirmation Bias: This occurs when individuals tend to seek, interpret, and remember information that confirms their pre-existing beliefs or expectations. Confirmation bias can lead to poor decision making, as people may not objectively evaluate all available information.
  • Framing Effect: This refers to the way information is presented, which can influence how people perceive and interpret it. The framing effect can impact decision making and judgment by causing people to focus on certain aspects of information while overlooking others.

B. Memory

Memory plays a crucial role in decision making and judgment, as it helps individuals recall and process relevant information. However, memory can also introduce biases and errors, which can influence decisions:

  • Availability Heuristic: This is the tendency to make judgments and decisions based on the information that comes most easily to mind. The availability heuristic can lead to biased decision making, as people may rely too heavily on recent or memorable experiences.
  • Representative Heuristic: This occurs when people make decisions based on how closely an option resembles a typical example or prototype. The representative heuristic can lead to biases in decision making, as people may not fully consider the likelihood of an event or option.
  • False Memories: These are memories of events that did not actually occur or are distorted from the actual events. False memories can influence decision making and judgment by causing people to rely on incorrect information when making choices.

C. Reasoning

Reasoning is the process of drawing conclusions and making decisions based on the available information. There are three main types of reasoning that can influence decision making and judgment:

  • Deductive Reasoning: This involves drawing conclusions based on general principles or rules. Deductive reasoning can lead to accurate decisions, but it may also result in errors if the principles or rules being used are not valid.
  • Inductive Reasoning: This involves drawing conclusions based on specific observations or experiences. Inductive reasoning can help people make decisions in uncertain situations, but it can also lead to errors if the observations or experiences being used are not representative of the larger population or situation.
  • Analogical Reasoning: This involves drawing conclusions by comparing similarities between different situations or cases. Analogical reasoning can help people make decisions by allowing them to apply knowledge from one situation to another, but it can also lead to errors if the similarities between the situations or cases being compared are not relevant to the decision at hand.

Emotional Factors

Emotional factors play an important role in decision making and judgment, as they can influence the way individuals perceive and evaluate options. Emotional factors can be divided into two main categories: emotions and decision making, and motivation.

A. Emotions and Decision Making

Emotions can have a significant impact on decision making, as they can shape how individuals approach and process information:

  • Affect Heuristic: This is the tendency for people to make decisions based on their current emotional state. The affect heuristic can lead to biased decision making, as people may overemphasize the importance of their emotions when making choices.
  • Mood and Emotions: A person’s mood and emotions can influence their decision making, as they can alter their perception and evaluation of options. For example, individuals in a positive mood may be more likely to take risks, while those in a negative mood may be more risk-averse.
  • Arousal and Decision Making: Arousal, or the level of physiological activation, can impact decision making. High arousal can lead to impulsive and emotional decision making, while low arousal can result in more deliberate and rational choices.

B. Motivation

Motivation is the driving force behind decision making and judgment, as it influences the goals and values individuals prioritize when making choices. Motivation can be categorized into intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation, and self-regulation:

  • Intrinsic Motivation: This refers to the desire to engage in an activity for its own sake, rather than for external rewards or consequences. Intrinsic motivation can lead to more effective decision making, as individuals are more likely to persist in their efforts and focus on their goals.
  • Extrinsic Motivation: This refers to the desire to engage in an activity for external rewards or consequences, such as money, praise, or social approval. Extrinsic motivation can influence decision making, as individuals may prioritize short-term rewards over long-term goals and values.
  • Self-Regulation: This is the process by which individuals manage their emotions, thoughts, and behaviors in order to achieve their goals. Self-regulation can enhance decision making and judgment, as it allows individuals to control their emotions and maintain focus on their objectives.

Social Factors

Social factors play a crucial role in decision making and judgment, as they shape the way individuals interact with others and consider different perspectives. Social factors can be divided into two main categories: group decision making, and culture.

A. Group Decision Making

Group decision making involves individuals working together to reach a consensus or make a choice. Several factors within group decision making can influence the quality of decisions:

  • Groupthink: This occurs when members of a group prioritize consensus and harmony over critical evaluation of alternatives. Groupthink can lead to poor decision making, as it suppresses dissenting opinions and discourages exploration of alternative options.
  • Social Facilitation: This is the phenomenon where individuals perform better on simple tasks when in the presence of others. Social facilitation can enhance group decision making, as it encourages individuals to contribute their knowledge and expertise.
  • Social Loafing: This refers to the tendency for individuals to exert less effort when working in a group, as they believe that others will compensate for their lack of effort. Social loafing can negatively impact group decision making, as it can lead to a lack of input from some members and reduced overall performance.

B. Culture

Culture shapes the way individuals approach decision making and judgment, as it influences their values, beliefs, and expectations. Cultural factors can introduce biases and differences in the decision-making process:

  • Cultural Differences in Decision Making: Different cultures may prioritize different values, beliefs, and approaches to decision making. This can result in varying decision-making styles and preferences across cultures.
  • Cultural Biases: Cultural biases can influence decision making, as individuals may unconsciously favor options that align with their cultural values and beliefs. This can lead to biased decisions and reduced consideration of alternative perspectives.
  • Acculturation: Acculturation refers to the process by which individuals adapt to a new culture, often by adopting its values, beliefs, and practices. Acculturation can impact decision making, as individuals may adjust their decision-making styles and preferences to align with the new culture.

Developmental Factors in Decision Making

Age-Related Changes in Decision Making

As individuals progress through different stages of life, their decision-making abilities and preferences can change. The following age groups demonstrate unique aspects of decision making:

  • Adolescence:
    • Greater susceptibility to peer influence
    • Higher risk-taking tendencies
    • Developing executive functioning skills
  • Adulthood:
    • Improved decision-making skills and judgment
    • Greater consideration of long-term consequences
    • Better emotional regulation
  • Older Adulthood:
    • Declines in cognitive abilities, which can affect decision making
    • Increased reliance on heuristics and past experiences
    • Potential for wisdom and expertise to enhance decision making

Experience and Expertise

The level of experience and expertise an individual possesses can significantly impact their decision-making abilities:

  • Expertise and Decision Making:
    • Experts are more adept at recognizing patterns and relevant information
    • Faster and more efficient decision making
    • Increased accuracy in decision making
  • Novice and Expert Differences:
    • Novices often lack experience and struggle with identifying relevant information
    • Novices may rely more on general rules and guidelines
    • Experts often have a deeper understanding of their domain, allowing for more nuanced decision making
  • Expert Intuition:
    • Experts can make rapid, intuitive decisions based on pattern recognition
    • Intuitive decisions can be highly accurate, but also prone to biases and errors
    • Expert intuition relies on extensive experience and domain knowledge

Biological Factors in Decision Making

Decision making is a complex process that involves various biological factors, including the activation of specific brain regions and the involvement of neurotransmitters. Understanding these factors can help shed light on how humans make decisions and the underlying processes.

Brain Regions and Decision Making

Several key brain regions play a crucial role in decision making, including:

Prefrontal Cortex

  • The prefrontal cortex is responsible for executive functions, such as planning, organizing, problem-solving, and decision making.
  • It helps in weighing the pros and cons of various options, assessing risks, and predicting outcomes.
  • Damage to the prefrontal cortex can impair an individual’s decision-making abilities, leading to impulsive or irrational choices.


  • The amygdala is involved in processing emotions, particularly fear and anxiety.
  • It plays a role in decision making by influencing emotional responses to potential outcomes or options.
  • The amygdala can bias decision making towards choices that minimize negative emotions or perceived threats.


  • The striatum is involved in the reward system and reinforcement learning.
  • It helps in making decisions by evaluating the potential rewards or positive outcomes associated with different options.
  • Dysfunction in the striatum can lead to difficulties in decision making, such as an inability to learn from past experiences or prioritize rewarding choices.

Neurotransmitters and Decision Making

Neurotransmitters are essential for transmitting signals between neurons and play a significant role in the decision-making process. Some key neurotransmitters include:


  • Dopamine is involved in the brain’s reward system and helps in predicting and responding to rewards.
  • It influences decision making by modulating motivation and reinforcing behavior associated with positive outcomes.
  • Imbalances in dopamine levels can lead to impulsive decision making or an inability to resist rewarding stimuli, such as in addiction.


  • Serotonin is associated with mood regulation, appetite, and sleep.
  • It plays a role in decision making by modulating emotional responses to different options, particularly regarding aversive outcomes or potential losses.
  • Low serotonin levels can lead to increased impulsivity, risk-taking behavior, and impaired decision making.


  • Norepinephrine is involved in alertness, attention, and stress response.
  • It influences decision making by affecting attention to relevant information and the ability to focus on tasks.
  • High levels of norepinephrine can lead to increased arousal and anxiety, which can impair decision making, while low levels can result in reduced motivation and poor decision-making performance.


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