Decision Research Workshop  

Process tracing methods and process theory:
New insights for judgement and decision making

Start:      Thursday 3rd May 2012, 1.30 pm
Finish:     Saturday 5th May 2012, 1.00 pm
Location: University of Bolton, Deane Rd, Bolton, Lancashire, BL3 5AB, UK
Cost:      40 GBP / 50 Euros (25% reduction for students and EADM members)


Rob Ranyard, University of Bolton (
Olga Kostopoulou, King's College London (

Workshop secretary:      Nicola Dunn (

The workshop is hosted by the Economic Psychology and Decision Research Group, University of Bolton. 

Aims and Objectives

Schulte-Mecklenbeck et al. argue that 'the full potential of process tracing methods has not yet been fully realised.  Significant advances can be expected given that two issues are resolved: First, process tracing is at its best when clearly formulated hypotheses exist that directly relate to process data.  Second, as any single method has its weaknesses, specific combinations of methods can compensate for some of these weaknesses' (2011a, p.737).  The aim of the workshop is to critically review the contribution of process tracing methods thus far and consider in particular the two issues outlined above.  (more)



Beginning early Thursday afternoon and ending Saturday lunchtime, 12-16 hours of discussion will take place in plenary sessions, plus two informal evenings in local restaurants, and optional social events on Saturday afternoon. The ethos of EGPROC is discussion of cutting-edge methodological and theoretical issues in judgment and decision making, the open questions being addressed in recent, current and planned empirical studies. Therefore contributions will be given generous slots of 45-60 minutes to allow plenty of time for discussion. Shorter slots for poster presentations will be available. Research teams can propose more than one presentation in a single slot.

The provisional programme can be viewed here.

The abstracts booklet is available here.

Invited Speakers  



'Frontiers in Cognitive Process Tracing and Psychometrics: Development and Reverse Engineering of Cognitive Tests' 
Edward T. Cokely (by video-link)
Department of Cognitive and Learning Sciences
Michigan Technological University

'The Desire for Cognitive Consistency as a Driver of Multiple J/DM Phenomena'
J. Edward Russo (co-author: Anne-Sophie Chaxel)
Johnson Graduate School of Management
Cornell University

Tracing Intuition in Probabilistic Inferences and Risky Choices’
Andreas Glöckner
Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods, Bonn

Invited Discussant
Cilia Witteman
Behavioural Science Institute, Radboud University Nijmegen,The Netherlands



If you are interested in participating, please e-mail the title and a 300-word abstract of your proposed contribution to the local workshop organiser ( and the workshop secretary, Nicola Dunn ( by 17th February 2012.  As there are a limited number of sessions, proposals will be judged in terms of their relevance to the theme of the workshop, as well as the usual scientific criteria.

Poster submissions, which may present work in progress or proposals for new empirical studies, will be considered until 30th March 2012.  


The University of Bolton is in the North West of England, a 2-3 hour train journey from central London and a 30-45 minute journey from Manchester airport.  Click here to download the University of Bolton Visitors Guide.

To book a place at the workshop

Please complete and return the EGPROC2012 Registration form.  Closing date for booking is 30th March 2012.
Fee for participation will be £40/€50 (25% reduction for students and EADM members).
Travel bursaries may be available for student participants.

Additional Social Events

On Saturday afternoon there will be a leisurely or more serious walk in the West Pennine Moors followed by drinks and/or food at a country inn called The Strawbury Duck.


If you require accommodation, the following hotels are available:

The Holiday Inn, Bolton Centre
£70.00 per room (Bed and Breakfast) if booked before 3rd April 2012.
To receive this special University rate, please quote UNIV030512 when making your booking. 
£89.50 per room (Bed and Breakfast) if booked after 3rd April 2012.
15 minutes walk from Bolton Train Station.

Travelodge, Bolton Central
£38.00 per person (room only) 
Prices are correct as at 24/01/12 and are subject to change
5 minutes walk from Bolton Train Station


Student Travel Bursaries

Travel bursaries of up to 100 euro per PhD student will be available on a competitive basis for those contributing to an accepted abstract as either author or co-author. To apply for a travel bursary please send an e-mail to the workshop secretary.



Theories of judgment and decision making (JDM) can be classified into two general types: formal, or as-if, models, which specify relationships between input task and context parameters and output JDM behaviour; and process models, which in addition seek to model explanatory psychological mechanisms underlying such input-output relationships. Within the formal modelling tradition theories are evaluated via analysis of their predictions concerning outcome judgments and decisions, and subsequent rigorous experimental tests of such predictions. Alternative models are evaluated in terms of the testable predictions that distinguish them. Process models, on the other hand, can be tested and evaluated in terms of both JDM behaviour and process tracing methods, which elicit and analyze observations of a range of verbal and nonverbal antecedents and concomitants of judgments and decisions. A loose classification of process tracing methods distinguishes among (i) methods for tracing information acquisition (e.g., information boards); (ii) methods for tracing information integration and evaluation (e.g., thinking aloud); and (iii) methods for tracing physiological, neurological, and other concomitants of cognitive processes (e.g., skin conductance, reaction time). The state of the process tracing art is reviewed by Schulte-Mecklenbeck, Kühberger & Ranyard (2011a, b).

The European Group for Process Tracing Studies of Decision Making (EGPROC) was initiated by Ola Svenson and colleagues in 1982 following the emergence of process tracing research in JDM in the seventies (Montgomery & Svenson, 1982; Payne, 1976; Svenson, 1979).  The group has held workshops annually since then and members have edited several research collections over the years (Montgomery and Svenson, 1989; Ranyard, Crozier & Svenson, 1997; Schulte-Mecklenbeck et al. (2011b).  The organizers of the 30th meeting propose to focus the workshop on new methodological developments and advances in process theory resulting from process tracing

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Montgomery, H. & Svenson, O. (1983). A think aloud study of dominance structuring in decision processes. In R. Tietz (Ed.) Aspiration levels in bargaining and economic decision making. Berlin: Springer.

Montgomery, H., & Svenson, O. (1989). Process and Structure in human decision making. Chichester: Wiley.

Payne, J. (1976). Task Complexity and Contingent Processing in Decision Making: An Information Search and Protocol Analysis. Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, 16, 366-387.

Ranyard, R., Crozier, W. R., & Svenson, O. (1997). Decision making: cognitive models and explanations. London: Routledge.

Schulte-Mecklenbeck, M., Kühberger, A. & Ranyard, R. (2011a). The role of process data in the development and testing of process models of judgment and decision making. Judgment and Decision Making, 6, 733-739.

Schulte-Mecklenbeck, M., Kühberger, A. & Ranyard, R. (Eds.). (2011b). A handbook of process tracing methods for decision research: A critical review and user’s guide. New York: Taylor & Francis.

Svenson, O. (1979). Process descriptions of decision-making. Organizational Behavior and Human performance, 23, 86-112.