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Comparative Decision Making$
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Thomas R. Zentall and Philip H. Crowley

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199856800

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199856800.001.0001

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(p.1) Chapter 1 Introduction
Comparative Decision Making

Philip H. Crowley

Thomas R. Zentall

Oxford University Press

Here we recognize two basic approaches to conceptualizing decisions. The most widespread view derives from long tradition in the social sciences: a decision is a choice among options. Beginning with Aristotle, the choosing process has been considered rational and conscious, conducted by an individual human decision maker. A contrasting approach is fundamentally behavioral: a decision is a conditional response. Here the decision maker is any agent capable of responding to its own state and environment. This allows a decision maker to be any actor without entirely fixed behavior. In this case decision making may be most usefully applied to algorithmic processes. The goal for this volume is to facilitate the emergence of comparative decision making, a field of enquiry meant to incorporate both the analysis and the support of decision making, and intended to take full advantage of the disciplinary approaches developed to date with only limited cross-fertilization.

Keywords:   conceptualization, decisions, Aristotelian approach, behavioral approach, comparative decision making

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