Our Mission

The Center for the Decision Sciences (CDS) serves as a resource to encourage dialogue and collaboration among researchers in multiple divisions and disciplines at Columbia Business School and to facilitate dialogue with and research transfer to industry experts and public policy makers. Our goal is to generate and facilitate interdisciplinary basic research that is relevant to the needs of real world decision makers.

Our History

Decision science lies at the intersection of several social and behavioral science disciplines, drawing on theory and methods from economics, psychology, political science and management, among other fields. Theory and research in the decision sciences has followed two paths: The first is normative or prescriptive, focused on specifying criteria for evaluating decisions and providing algorithms for achieving optimal outcomes; the second is descriptive, focusing on how people actually make decisions.

The Center for Decision Sciences (CDS) at Columbia Business School has dual educational and research purposes: to provide cross-training to graduate students and post-doctoral fellows in aspects of decision sciences that they are not exposed to in their home disciplines; and to bring together researchers from different departments and schools to work on research issues that require cross-disciplinary expertise.

Foci extend well beyond the interests of the core organizers, including but not limited to statistical decision theory, the micro-foundations of comparative justice systems, rational expectations in economics and political science, technological change and the restructuring of decision processes, and the impact of probabilistic forecasts (for example, climate variability) on decision algorithms. The Center provides assistance of various sorts to researchers, including advice on research design, data acquisition, and data analysis.

The Center, formerly part of the Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy (ISERP), is a partner of the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions (CRED).

CDS has three founding directors: Eric JohnsonDavid Krantz and Elke Weber.