Master's Theses


Political Science

Degree Name

Master of Liberal Studies (MLS)


Numerous theories exist showing the relationship between stress and decision-making strategies. Conflict Theory, as expressed by Mann et al. (1997) explains that when facing a major decision, individuals will respond to the stress of that decision by using one of four decision-making strategies: vigilance, buckpassing, procrastination, and hypervigilance. In matching Conflict Theory with the cultural scales proposed by Hofstede (2001), the decision-making strategies of buckpassing and procrastination are preferred by individuals from collectivist cultures in contrast to people from individualistic cultures. The current study used Mann’s Melbourne Decision-Making Questionnaire in the context of Afghanistan. This research is pertinent given the significant amount of aid and development resources spent on Afghanistan in the last two decades. It was hypothesized that Afghan men would show greater decision-making self-confidence than Afghan women. It was also hypothesized that Afghans from the Pashtun tribal group would prefer to use more collectivist decision-making strategies when compared to Afghans who belong to other tribal groups. Afghan men and women were found to be equally confident in decision-making confidence, while Pashtuns were found to prefer collectivist decision-making strategies when compared to non-Pashtun Afghans.

Keywords: Decision-making, Collectivist, Individualist, Afghanistan, Pashtun, Melbourne Decision-Making Questionnaire, Culture Theory, Conflict Theory


Dr. Josephine Squires

Date of Award

Summer 2021

Document Type



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