Depressive decision making: Validation of the portfolio theory model Report uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Child Development
  • Cognition
  • Economics
  • Human Rights
  • Social Justice


  • A multi-dimensional model of decision making, based on modern portfolio theory, is advanced that proposes that individuals consider in making behavioral decisions and contemplating risk. This model is specifically applied to depressive decision making. According to this model, depressed individuals view themselves as having few current and future resources, low predictability and control, less maximization of positives, greater minimization of negatives, less utility for gains, more disutility for losses, higher stop-loss criteria, higher information demands, more regret, and more reliance on waiting as a strategy. Participants were 153 adult psychiatric patients who were tested on a 25-item Decision Questionnaire that assessed 25 dimensions of decision making and these responses were correlated with the Beck Depression Inventory. The results substantially supported the assumptions of a general portfolio theory of risk. Risk aversion and depression were related to most of the dimensions and depression was related to risk aversion. Less depression was related to maximizing positives as a goal, but was unrelated to minimizing negatives. Four factors accounted for most of the variance: General efficacy, discouragement, unpredictability, and risk aversion.

publication date

  • December 2001



  • Report

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 341

end page

  • 362


  • 15


  • 4