A Synthesised Model of Decisional Stress and Satisfaction: Empirical assessment across work and relationship decision contexts



Decision-making research has evolved significantly over the past century with a focus on how decisions are made. A recent synthesised Decisional Stress and Satisfaction Model (DSSM) included people’s decision appraisals, stress, coping, and metacognitions as predictors of decision satisfaction. The aim in this study was to empirically test the DSSM and its stability in a two-wave design: work/study decisions (Wave 1) and family/relationship decisions (Wave 2). A convenience sample of 182 adults completed the Wave 1 survey where they were asked to reflect on their decision appraisals, stress, coping, metacognitions, while making an important work/study decision and their satisfaction with that decision. Eighty-four of these participants also completed the same questions at Wave 2 in terms of a recent family/relationship decision. The Wave 1 data provided a good fit to the DSS Model. Results indicated that an appraisal that sufficient resources were available to make a decision, and increased metacognitions (awareness and acceptance), predicted lower decisional stress, and indirectly, increased decision satisfaction. Metacognitive awareness and acceptance negatively predicted coping, dominated by avoidance, with stress also increasing avoidance coping. The model was stable across a decision made related to participants family/relationship. The results highlight the importance of people’s decision appraisals, stress, coping, and metacognitions in work/study and family/relationships decision-making.