Cognitive Processes in Choice and Decision Behavior

Cognitive Processes in Choice and Decision Behavior

Cognitive Processes in Choice and Decision Behavior

Cognitive Processes in Choice and Decision Behavior

Excerpt

Decision theory is a uniquely interdisciplinary field of study with contributions from economics, statistics, mathematics, philosophy, operations research, and psychology. Recent years have seen important changes in research on behavioral decision theory in terms of a shift from a reliance on economic and statistical models to an emphasis on concepts drawn from cognitive psychology. In order to explore the reasons why these changes have come about, and to discuss the future directions to which they point, a conference was held from June 22-24, 1978, at Quail Roost, an idyllic conference center run primarily for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This volume contains the proceedings of that conference, and should be of interest to cognitive psychologists, decision theorists, decision analysts, and related scientists.

The schism that, until recently, has existed between behavioral decision theory and the rest of cognitive psychology has been unfortunate, although understandable. Pitz (1977) is probably correct in his analysis that this separation occurred because the the roots of decision theory lie squarely in economics and statistics, whereas those of cognitive psychology can be found in the early schools of association and rationalism. Estes (this volume) presents a similar perspective. It is useful to consider certain aspects of decision-oriented and cognitive research to see how each can benefit from the other and to understand why the two fields may be growing closer together.

Research in behavioral decision theory has been concerned primarily with developing, testing, and reformulating relatively sophisticated formal models . . .

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