Modeling Decision Making Considering Collective Versus Individual Interests in Public Health
27 Pages Posted: 7 Oct 2013
Date Written: October 3, 2013
Objective. The objective of this work is to examine decision making in public health, considering the conflict between collective and individual interests.
Study design. This is a theoretical work in which a mathematical model is proposed.
Methods. Here we propose a mathematical model of decision-making that takes this conflict into account. The model assumes that the probability of deciding in favor of preventive or curative actions depends on the ratio of acceptance/compliance, as calculated for opportunity costs and benefits.
Results. The model shows that the perceived fairness of the action increases as its acceptance increases relative to its compliance. Conflict is generated by the tension between acceptance and compliance and turns decision making into a difficult task.
Conclusions. The acceptance of a public health action increases as its personal cost decreases relative to its perceived social benefits. On the other hand, compliance with the action increases as the perceived social cost increases relative to personal benefits.
Keywords: decision-making, preventive actions, curative actions, neuroeconomics, mathematical modeling, public health
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