Strengthening Decision-making Processes For the Long-term Future

    At the core of policy-making lie decision-making processes. Building on our previous work, we delve into ways to facilitate them to benefit long-term resilience. Decision-making has a number of correlates, such as judgement, behaviour, emotion, cognition and social cues. We synthesise different bodies of literature that have provided insight into how these correlates can be understood, handled and improved. First, we synthesise the characteristics of decision-making in policy contexts and, in particular, why they are different from average situations. We provide an account of the characteristics of policy problems, as well as the particular challenges of long-term policy problems, such as moral uncertainty and slow feedback loops. Second, we build on findings in political neuroscience and behavioural public policy to explain why decision-making tends to be short-termist. Third, based on the above, we provide guidance for decision-making support: we advocate moving away from prioritizing the supply of information and towards focusing on information processing instead, switching from individual to collective support and privileging tools for complex problem-solving over nudging; and provide recent evidence on the usefulness of practical strategies to support decision-making in policy contexts in particular. Fourth, we explain how to select strategies as a function of the context and the evaluation thereof.