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

Authors Riva S, Antonietti A, Iannello P, Pravettoni G

Received 12 June 2015

Accepted for publication 2 October 2015

Published 23 November 2015 Volume 2015:9 Pages 1677—1686


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Qian Ding

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen

Silvia Riva,1 Alessandro Antonietti,2 Paola Iannello,2 Gabriella Pravettoni1–3

1Department of Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Milan, Milan, Italy; 2Department of Psychology, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Milan, Italy; 3Applied Research Division for Cognitive and Psychological Science, European Institute of Oncology, Milan, Italy

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.

Keywords: health literacy, judgment, decision-making, psychological processes, skills, cognitive factors

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