Process tracing methods in decision making: on growing up in the 70ties


Decision research has experienced a shift from simple algebraic theories of choice to an appreciation of mental processes underlying choice. A variety of process-tracing methods has helped researchers test these process explanations. Here, we provide a survey of these methods, including specific examples for subject reports, movement-based measures, peripheral psychophysiology, and neural techniques. We show how these methods can inform phenomena as varied as attention, emotion, strategy use, and understanding neural correlates. Two important future developments are identified: broadening the number of explicit tests of proposed processes through formal modeling and determining standards and best practices for data collection.

Current Directions in Psychological Science