Focus article: Taking stock of naturalistic decision making

Raanan Lipshitz, Gary Klein, Judith Orasanu, Eduardo Salas

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


We review the progress of naturalistic decision making (NDM) in the decade since the first conference on the subject in 1989. After setting out a brief history of NDM we identify its essential characteristics and consider five of its main contributions: recognition-primed decisions, coping with uncertainty, team decision making, decision errors, and methodology. NDM helped identify important areas of inquiry previously neglected (e.g. the use of expertise in sizing up situations and generating options), it introduced new models, conceptualizations, and methods, and recruited applied investigators into the field. Above all, NDM contributed a new perspective on how decisions (broadly defined as committing oneself to a certain course of action) are made. NDM still faces significant challenges, including improvement of the quantity and rigor of its empirical research, and confirming the validity of its prescriptive models.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)331-352
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Behavioral Decision Making
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2001


  • Coping with uncertainty
  • Decision errors
  • Decision training
  • Naturalistic decision making
  • Recognition-primed decisions
  • Research methodology
  • Team decision making

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Decision Sciences
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Strategy and Management


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