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ERIC Number: EJ1124951
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-2147-611X
Indicators of Informal and Formal Decision-Making about a Socioscientific Issue
Dauer, Jenny M.; Lute, Michelle L.; Straka, Olivia
International Journal of Education in Mathematics, Science and Technology, v5 n2 p124-138 2017
We propose two contrasting types of student decision-making based on social and cognitive psychology models of separate mental processes for problem solving. Informal decision-making uses intuitive reasoning and is subject to cognitive biases, whereas formal decision-making uses effortful, logical reasoning. We explored indicators of students' formal decision-making in a socioscientific issue-focused general science post-secondary course that used a seven-step decision-making framework based in decision-science models. We found that students' value orientations predicted students' stance towards biofuels at the beginning but not at the end of the course, indicating some students' post-survey opinions were less rooted in affective value-judgments. Themes in student personal reasoning about biofuels were primarily focused on environmental and economic dimensions of the issue and revealed a greater awareness of alternative options and potential consequences of biofuel use at the end of the course. We observed a decrease in students' emotive arguments and an increase in students' justificatory arguments about biofuel use. A formal decision-making framework may be a useful tool in supporting students' formal, reasoned approach to deciding what we should do about complex socioscientific issues.
International Journal of Education in Mathematics, Science and Technology. Necmettin Erbakan University, Ahmet Kelesoglu Education Faculty, Meram, Konya, 42090, Turkey. Tel: +90-505-490-6703; Fax: +90-332-323-6225; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Postsecondary Education; Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A