We report a short-term longitudinal investigation of how parents of kindergartners select an educational option for their child. Our focus was on the educational options parents actively considered and the criteria they used to evaluate these options. Parents actively considered about 3 of the available 8 or more educational options and reported considering an average of 5 criteria to evaluate these options. Over a 6-month period, parents changed about one third of the options on their short list and half the criteria they reported using. Parents’ holistic appraisals of options were moderately calibrated with predictions of linear models. Although parents’ self-reports suggested that they used a variety of decision-making styles, analyses indicated few performance differences as a function of their self-reported style.

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