An Exploration of Judgment and Decision Making among Novice Outdoor Leaders: A Dual-Processes Approach


  • Bruce Martin Ohio University
  • David Schmid Foothills Academy, Wheat Ridge, CO
  • Melissa Parker University of Northern Colorado


outdoor leadership development, judgment and decision making, naturalistic decision making, rational decision making, dual-processes


The purpose of this study was to explore the development of judgmentand decision making competency among novice outdoor leadersparticipating in a Wilderness Education Association National StandardsProgram course. Specifically, the study focused on two aspectsof decision making: (1) contextual variables that influenced decisionsof course participants and (2) the nature of the process used to makedecisions. While judgment and decision-making were conceptualizedin terms of the dual-processes approach (Evans, 2008; Kahneman,2003; Reyna, 2004), data were collected and analyzed using naturalisticresearch methods (Lincoln & Guba, 1985; Patton, 1990). Afterdata analysis participant readiness, physical safety, environmentalimpact, group cohesion, and educational mindset were identified assignificant variables in the participants' decision-making process duringthe course. Implications for theory and practice are considered.



Regular Papers