The inevitable subjective nature of conservation: Psychological insights on the process of decision making

Hélia Pereira Marçal, António Manuel Pereira Duarte, Rita Macedo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Taking a psychology perspective, the aim of thispaper is to reflect upon the cognitive biases con-servators are exposed to in the process of deci-sion making and how those decisions impact anartwork’s biography. Cognitive biases, such as ‘de-faults’, ‘the asymmetric dominance effect’, and ‘theanchoring effect’ are recurrent in areas of decisionmaking, as, for instance, in medical practice. Bycomparing them with conservation practice, it waspossible to conclude that these effects may alsoinfluence conservators. ‘Defaults’ and ‘the asym-metric dominance effect’ suggest that the framingand number of options influence the final choice.Moreover, ‘the anchoring effect’ implies that pres-ent decisions influence future decisions, thus hav-ing a direct impact on the artwork’s biography.As a conclusion, several suggestions for avoiding cognitive biases in conservation are proposed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationICOM-CC 17th Triennial Conference Preprints
EditorsJ. Bridgland
Place of PublicationParis
PublisherInternational Council of Museums
Pages1-7
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)978-92-9012-410-8
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Event17th Triennial Conference in Melbourne - Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 15 Sep 201419 Sep 2014

Conference

Conference17th Triennial Conference in Melbourne
CountryAustralia
CityMelbourne
Period15/09/1419/09/14

Keywords

  • Cognitive biases
  • Decision making
  • Ethics
  • Psychology
  • Subjectivity

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