Once every two years scientists interested in judgment and decision making research meet in an European city to participate in a scientific conference called “SPUDM”, which stands for “Subjective Probability, Utility, and Decision Making”.

SPUDM represents an international and interdisciplinary forum for scientists dealing with modelling, analysing and aiding decision processes. It covers fundamental as well as applied research, attracting contributions from various disciplines such as psychology, economics, medicine, law, management science, philosophy, and computer science.


The start-up in 1969 and the next 28 years are described of the international research conference on Subjective Probability, Utility and Decision Making, whose 23rd biennial manifestation took place in London, August 2011. SPUDM began in Hamburg on April 10-12, 1969, as a Research Conference on Subjective Probability and Related Fields. It adopted its current name at the third conference in Uxbridge, UK. As a distinctly European response to the growing literature, SPUDM was just another expression of the big wave of research interests in decision models, methods and processes, which rolled on in the 1950s and 1960s. A description is given of SPUDM’s inception around 1969 and its thriving development since then. The important role of Ward Edwards’ early decision-theoretic reviews is highlighted, as are the inspiring roles of Bruno De Finetti and Masanao Toda. SPUDM’s gradual expansion and differentiation are discussed, and its thematic developments between 1969 and 1997 are surveyed. Typical quotations are given and some pictures of SPUDM inspirators and activists are provided. A postscript anno 2012 gives a more distant look back on later developments, and some suggestions for SPUDM in its fifth decade.

Source: European Association for Decision Making