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Decision Making: Between Rationality and Reality

Author(s): Marko Polič

Journal: Interdisciplinary Description of Complex Systems
ISSN 1334-4684

Volume: 7;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 78;
Date: 2009;
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Keywords: bounded rationality | decision making | heuristics | macro cognition | naturalistic decision making

Almost by definition decision-making is typical human activity, and therefore important psychological subject. The starting point of its classical conception within psychology could be traced back to economy and mathematic, with ideas of human as rational economic being, and conceptualising decision making as choice between two or more alternatives, and as such being a separate event in space and time. Already in fifties Herbert Simon challenged such a view with his concept of bounded rationality, emerging from the joint effect of internal limitations of the human mind, and the structure of external environments in which the mind operates. During the last decades with the shift to the real word situations where decisions are embedded in larger tasks, becoming so part of the study of action, the lost rational human appeared again as efficient creature in the complex environment. Gigerenzer showed how heuristics help in this process.
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