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Call now or later? The waiting game in decision-making

International Journal of Educational Research Volume 74, Number 1, ISSN 0883-0355 Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


Opinions in the literature are divided as to whether the quality of judgment in a decision-making situation improves with a delay involving no conscious contemplation of the subject. This question has been examined in economic decisions with precise evaluative mathematical criteria but not in less defined areas such as education. The paper introduces the issue by asking whether the very act of delaying educational decision making, without additional consideration of the subject in the interim, contributes to improvement of the quality of the decision.165 high school teachers were asked to make decisions about each of two educational cases, once immediately after reading about the issues and again the next day after a night's sleep. Measures were taken to ensure that the cases would not be discussed during the two time points. Utilization of the main components of the decision making process during the immediate and delayed responses was compared.Comparison of the immediate and deferred decisions revealed differing degrees of significant improvement in the delayed conclusion with regard to most of the components measured.In the decision making process model the time dimension should be included. To utilize individual abilities in decision making, educators should weigh decisions through a gradual process. Immediate finalization should be avoided when possible.The significance of the findings is discussed in terms of improving the decision making culture of educational institutions. Additional research directions are proposed.


Klein, J. (2015). Call now or later? The waiting game in decision-making. International Journal of Educational Research, 74(1), 38-48. Elsevier Ltd. Retrieved August 17, 2022 from .

This record was imported from International Journal of Educational Research on March 1, 2019. International Journal of Educational Research is a publication of Elsevier.

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