Contextualizing Recent Judgment and Decision-Making Concepts for Outdoor Leadership Research


  • Wynn Shooter University of Utah
  • Nate Furman Green Mountain College


Judgment and decision-making, outdoor leadership, outdoor education, adventure education, dual-process decision-making, heuristics


At present, the literature on judgment and decision-making in outdoor leadership is either limited to (a) empirical studies that explore a particular aspect of judgment and decisionmaking, (b) discussions in textbooks that are designed to inform undergraduates and novices, and (c) somewhat outdated theoretical explanations of judgment and decisionmaking as they relate to outdoor recreation education. Collectively, these individual facets of a large and complex body of work inadequately surmise the gestalt of the present knowledge regarding judgment and decision-making. This article addresses this gap by integrating recent findings from parent disciplines to outdoor leadership and outdoor leisure pursuit contexts, primarily by adopting a “dual-process†framework. Three major themes emerge in the outdoor leadership literature, one that focuses on heuristics and biases, one that focuses on naturalistic decision-making (NDM), and one that explores differences among novice and expert outdoor leaders. These themes are considered in relation to trans-disciplinary judgment and decision-making literature. Conclusions suggest an integrated approach to understanding decision-making in outdoor leadership that focuses on the decision-making environment, the decision-maker, the type of decisions being made, and the decision-making process itself.



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