About

There is a vast literature on the theoretical and practical aspects of decision-making. Interestingly however, hardly anything in this rich literature qualifies for the impressive title: voodoo decision theory.

The objective of this project is then to fill in this gap by providing a glimpse into the select club of voodoo decision theories and the fascinating world of voodoo decision-making.

It should be made clear right from the outset that this project will maintain strict criteria as to the theories that will be admitted to this club. To be precise, this project will be concerned only with decision theories that passed the peer-review process of professional journals. Thus, decision theories not documented in these journals — for instance, a theory known to be held by patrons of some small casino regarding the sums of cash they can lose, on average, per night — will not be featured in this project.

But why Australia and why the UK?

These two countries figure prominently in this project not because they were picked arbitrarily, nor as a show of favoritism. Rather, this is so simply because a number of academic institutions in both countries currently host a range of activities involving the advocacy/use of voodoo decision-making.

This is not to say that involvement with voodoo decision theories is unheard of elsewhere. Indeed, one might add to the list academics from Canada, France, Germany, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and USA. The point is, however, that as things stand, academics in Australia and the UK are particularly active in this area so that this phenomenon is more widespread in these countries.

Interestingly, the application of voodoo decision-theories seems to have become particularly popular in the areas of applied ecology and climate change.