Toward a Psychology of Surrogate Decision Making


In everyday life, many of the decisions that we make are made on behalf of other people. A growing body of research suggests that we often, but not always, make different decisions on behalf of other people than the other person would choose. This is problematic in the practical case of legally designated surrogate decision makers, who may not meet the substituted judgment standard. Here, we review evidence from studies of surrogate decision making and examine the extent to which surrogate decision making accurately predicts the recipient’s wishes, or if it is an incomplete or distorted application of the surrogate’s own decision-making processes. We find no existing domain-general model of surrogate decision making. We propose a framework by which surrogate decision making can be assessed and a novel domain-general theory as a unifying explanatory concept for surrogate decisions.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Health & Life Sciences
Additional Information: © Sage 2015. The final publication is available via Sage at
Uncontrolled Keywords: affect,emotion,family,health,interpersonal relations,judgment,reasoning,thinking,Psychology(all)
Publication ISSN: 1745-6916
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2024 07:12
Date Deposited: 15 Oct 2018 10:23
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Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
http://journals ... 745691615598508 (Publisher URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2015-11-01
Authors: Tunney, Richard J. (ORCID Profile 0000-0003-4673-757X)
Ziegler, Fenja V.



Version: Accepted Version

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