The Melbourne decision making questionnaire: an instrument for measuring patterns for coping with decisional conflict



A study was conducted to examine the factorial validity of the Flinders Decision Making Questionnaire (Mann, 1982), a 31-item self-report inventory designed to measure tendencies to use three major coping patterns identified in the conflict theory of decision making (Janis and Mann, 1977): vigilance, hypervigilance, and defensive avoidance (procrastination, buck-passing, and rationalization). A sample of 2051 university students, comprising samples from Australia (n=262), New Zealand (n=260), the USA (n=475), Japan (n=359), Hong Kong (n=281) and Taiwan (n=414) was administered the DMQ. Factorial validity of the instrument was tested by confirmatory factor analysis with LISREL. Five different substantive models, representing different structural relationships between the decision-coping patterns had unsatisfactory fit to the data and could not be validated. A shortened instrument, containing 22 items, yielded a revised model comprising four identifiable factors–vigilance, hypervigilance, buck-passing, and procrastination. The revised model had adequate fit with data for each country sample and for the total sample, and was confirmed. It is recommended that the 22-item instrument, named the Melbourne DMQ, replace the Flinders DMQ for measurement of decision-coping patterns. © 1997 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.