What are judgment skills in health literacy? A psycho-cognitive perspective of judgment and decision-making research

Silvia Riva, Alessandro Antonietti, Paola Iannello, Gabriella Pravettoni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: The aim of this review is to summarize current research relating to psychological processes involved in judgment and decision-making (JDM) and identify which processes can be incorporated and used in the construct of health literacy (HL) in order to enrich its conceptualization and to provide more information about people’s preferences. Methods: The literature review was aimed at identifying comprehensive research in the field; therefore appropriate databases were searched for English language articles dated from 1998 to 2015. Results: Several psychological processes have been found to be constituents of JDM and potentially incorporated in the definition of HL: cognition, self-regulation, emotion, reasoning-thinking, and social perception. Conclusion: HL research can benefit from this JDM literature overview, first, by elaborating on the idea that judgment is multidimensional and constituted by several specific processes, and second, by using the results to implement the definition of “judgment skills”. Moreover, this review can favor the development of new instruments that can measure HL. Practical implications: Future researchers in HL should work together with researchers in psychological sciences not only to investigate the processes behind JDM in-depth but also to create effective opportunities to improve HL in all patients, to promote good decisions, and orient patients’ preferences in all health contexts.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1677-1686
Number of pages10
JournalPatient Preference and Adherence
Publication statusPublished - Nov 23 2015


  • Cognitive factors
  • Decision-making
  • Health literacy
  • Judgment
  • Psychological processes
  • Skills

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health Policy
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics (miscellaneous)


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