On a personal level decisions are the only means you have to change your life.  Some people do not even recognize that they are in control of their decisions. Good decision making often involves making trade-offs and maybe surrounded by ethical dilemmas. Society is shaped by the decisions of the individuals.

This research area is about helping people and society make better decisions in an ethically sensitive way. The work includes normative and behavioral models of decision making and ethics.

Classifying Ethical-Legal-Prudential Situations



Societal outreach is an important part of theThe Neely Center's mission. We are currently in the process of forming a partnership with the Los Angeles County Probation Department as part of an effort to bring knowledge of decision skills to the wider community.

You can read more about The Neely Center director Professor Ali Abbas' work with troubled teens below.


The U.S. Department of Justice recorded 2.2 million juvenile arrests in 2003. Juvenile courts handled 1.6 million delinquency cases in 2002, up from 1.1 million in 1985. Nearly 25,000 16-year-olds in residential placement have an average stay of 105 days in public facilities, and about 85 percent of teens admitted into a juvenile detention center return at least once. For these young people, becoming involved with the juvenile detention system is a traumatic experience that carries with it the danger of being drawn into a cycle of repeated offenses. Read more.

Listen to an interview with The Neely Center director Ali Abbas discussing his work helping teens make life-changing decisions here.