What is Decision Science?

Decision science is the study of how we make decisions and how to make better decisions in the presence of uncertainty, complexity and competing values. While most fields of research focus on producing new knowledge, decision science is concerned with making choices based on available information. Interdisciplinary in nature, decision analysis draws on psychology, economics, statistics, and management science, and has been applied to business and management, law and policy, environmental regulation, military science, public health and medicine. Our focus, Health Decision Science, aims to inform policies and practices that improve health, including the social and environmental determinants of health.

Practice and Policy

Even the most rigorous and relevant research will have little public health impact if not understood and used by decision makers –  policy translation requires ongoing engagement with stakeholders.

Cost-Effectiveness Analysis

A cost-effectiveness analysis is about "value for money". In other words, how much health improvement can be gained, dollar for dollar, compared to an alternative use of those resources?

Benefit Cost Analysis

Like cost‐effectiveness analysis, benefit‐cost analysis estimates the costs and consequences of investments - however, in benefit-cost analysis all outcomes are expressed in monetary units.

Models and Tools

Decision-analytic models vary in how they take into account a range of important attributes including time, chance, population, timing of events, and interaction within the population.

Preferences and Values

How people think about what is important to them -- what they prefer, how they value different outcomes—needs to be measured and reflected in our decision analytic approaches.