Decision making


Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research |

    People willing to incur significant costs to help strangers, ‘extraordinary altruists’, are shown to have an increased subjective valuation of the welfare of distant others, rather than a misconception of the social distance of strangers.

    • Kruti M. Vekaria
    • , Kristin M. Brethel-Haurwitz
    • , Elise M. Cardinale
    • , Sarah A. Stoycos
    •  & Abigail A. Marsh
  • Research |

    Although 71% of marine protected areas are benefiting fish populations, their effects are highly variable, with staff capacity proving to be the most important explanatory variable.

    • David A. Gill
    • , Michael B. Mascia
    • , Gabby N. Ahmadia
    • , Louise Glew
    • , Sarah E. Lester
    • , Megan Barnes
    • , Ian Craigie
    • , Emily S. Darling
    • , Christopher M. Free
    • , Jonas Geldmann
    • , Susie Holst
    • , Olaf P. Jensen
    • , Alan T. White
    • , Xavier Basurto
    • , Lauren Coad
    • , Ruth D. Gates
    • , Greg Guannel
    • , Peter J. Mumby
    • , Hannah Thomas
    • , Sarah Whitmee
    • , Stephen Woodley
    •  & Helen E. Fox
    Nature 543, 665–669
  • Research |

    Energy future scenarios are used in policy decision-making but little is known about how they influence public preferences. This study shows that engaging with an interactive scenario-building tool strengthens existing preferences, but exemplar scenarios provide reference points that anchor choices.

    • Christina Demski
    • , Alexa Spence
    •  & Nick Pidgeon
    Nature Energy 2, 17027
  • Research |

    Betsch and colleagues show that vaccination willingness is higher in cultures that focus on collective benefits. For cultures that lack this prosocial cultural inclination, communicating the concept of herd immunity improves willingness to vaccinate.

    • Cornelia Betsch
    • , Robert Böhm
    • , Lars Korn
    •  & Cindy Holtmann
  • Research |

    The wisdom of the crowd can be improved by using an algorithm that selects the answer that is more popular than people predict, rather than the answer that is most popular.

    • Dražen Prelec
    • , H. Sebastian Seung
    •  & John McCoy
    Nature 541, 532–535

News and Comment

  • Comments and Opinion |

    Brainstorming was developed over 60 years ago, along with its key concept that ‘no idea is a bad idea’. But could the opposite be true, is brainstorming stifling, rather than unleashing, our creativity? In environments in which ideas go unchallenged, there are techniques that can improve creativity by encouraging criticism.

    • David Burkus
  • News and Views |

    Public fears of nuclear power are widespread, especially in the aftermath of accidents, yet their benefits are rarely fully considered. A new study shows how the closure of two nuclear power plants in the 1980s increased air pollution and led to a measurable reduction in birth weights, a key indicator of future health outcomes.

    • Michael Shellenberger
    Nature Energy 2, 17058
  • News and Views |

    It is important to include the public in the processes by which decisions on societal trajectories are made. A study shows that interactive scenario-building tools can engage people in the holistic complexities of energy transitions, but these tools must be designed and used with care because elicited preferences can be influenced by contextual factors.

    • Tim Chatterton
    Nature Energy 2, 17030
  • News and Views |

    Policymakers play a critical role in the global response to climate change. Now, research reveals an effective visual strategy for communicating climate science to policymakers and climate negotiators.

    • Jiaying Zhao