Introduction and Historical Remarks
Peter Juslin Uppsala University
Henry Montgomery Stockholm University
Cognitive psychology is approaching its fortieth anniversary. In this relatively short period, the field has seen immense growth, and specialization into various subdomains like research on memory, problem solving, attention, and language acquisition. Moreover, cognitive psychology is starting to merge with other disciplines, as exemplified by the recent developments referred to as cognitive science and cognitive neuroscience. One of the remarkable features of Swedish work in cognitive psychology is the strong position of judgment and decision making (JDM) research, going back to Mats Björkman's studies of judgment in the sixties (e.g., Björkman, 1965). This observation is made not to de-emphasize the impact of contributions made by Swedes working in other areas, but only to point out that from an international perspective, problems of judgment and decision making have attracted the interest of a surprising number of researchers in Sweden. Their interest is reflected in the chapters of this volume.
Cognitive research on JDM has been greatly influenced by normative models for decision making under uncertainty derived from statistics and economics. The mother of all such normative models originates in Pascal's Wager from 1658 ( Hacking, 1975), in which the idea of rational decision making as maximization of expected value is first presented. The modern incarnation of Pascal's idea--the theory of maximization of subjective expected utility (SEU theory)--imposes constraints on a person's decision making that allow the decisions to be interpreted as maximization in terms of a subjective utility function and a subjective probability measure (e.g.,