Evaluating reproductive decisions as discrete choices under social influence

R. Alexander Bentley*, William A. Brock, Camila C S Caiado, Michael J. O’Brien

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Discrete choice, coupled with social influence, plays a significant role in evolutionary studies of human fertility, as investigators explore how and why reproductive decisions are made.We have previously proposed that the relative magnitude of social influence can be compared against the transparency of pay-off, also known as the transparency of a decision, through a heuristic diagram that maps decision-making along two axes. The horizontal axis represents the degree to which an agent makes a decision individually versus one that is socially influenced, and the vertical axis represents the degree to which there is transparency in the pay-offs and risks associated with the decision the agent makes. Having previously parametrized the functions that underlie the diagram, we detail here how our estimation methods can be applied to real-world datasets concerning sexual health and contraception.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20150154
Number of pages9
JournalPhilosophical Transactions B: Biological Sciences
Issue number1692
Early online date28 Mar 2016
Publication statusPublished - 19 Apr 2016


  • Bangladesh
  • Contraception
  • Discrete choice
  • Fertility
  • Sexual health
  • Social influence

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