Decision Making: Descriptive, Normative, and Prescriptive Interactions

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The analysis of decision making under uncertainty has again become a major focus of interest. This volume presents contributions from leading specialists in different fields and provides a summary and synthesis of work in this area. It is based on a conference held at the Harvard Business School. The book brings together the different approaches to decision making - normative, descriptive, and prescriptive - which largely correspond to different disciplinary interests. Mathematicians have concentrated on rational procedures for decision making - how people should make decisions. Psychologists have examined how poeple do make decisions, and how far their behaviour is compatible with any rational model. Operations researchers study the application of decision models to actual problems. Throughout, the aim is to present the current state of research and its application and also to show how the different disciplinary approaches can inform one another and thus lay the foundations for the integrated analysis of decision making. The book will be of interest to researchers, teachers - for use as background reading for a decision theory course - students, and consultants and others involved in the practical application of the analysis of decision making. It will be of interest to specialists and students in statistics, mathematics, economics, psychology and the behavioural sciences, operations research, and management science.

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Editorial Reviews

Papers presented at a conference held at the Harvard Business School, June, 1983. Presents the current state of research and its application; also demonstrates how the different disciplinary approaches can inform one another and thus lay the foundations for the integrated analysis of decision making. Acidic paper. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521368513
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/1988
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 636
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 1.42 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface; Introduction; Part I. Overview Paper: 1. Descriptive, normative, and prescriptive interactions in decision making David E. Bell, Howard Raiffa, and Amos Tversky; Part II. Conceptions of Choice: 2. Bounded rationality, ambiguity, and the engineering of choice James G. March; 3. Rationality as process and as product of thought Herbert A. Simon; 4. Normative theories of decision making under risk and under uncertainty P. C. Fishburn; 5. Risky choice revisited David E. Bell, and Howard Raiffa; 6. Behavioral decision theory: processes of judgment and choice Hillel J. Einhorn, and Robin M. Hogarth; 7. Reply to commentaries Hillel J. Einhorn, and Robin M. Hogarth; 8. Response mode, framing, and information-processing effects in risk assessment Paul Slovic, Baruch Fischhoff, and Sarah Lichetenstein; 9. Rational choice and the framing of decisions Amos Tversky, and Daniel Kahneman; 10. Savage revisited Glenn Shafer; Part III. Beliefs and Judgments about Uncertainties: 11. Languages and decisions for probability judgment Glenn Shafer, and Amos Tversky; 12. Updating subjective probability Persi Diaconis, and Sandy L. Zabell; 13. Probability, evidence, and judgment A. P. Dempster; 14. The effects of statistical training on thinking about everyday problems Geoffrey T. Fong, David H. Krantz, and Richard E. Nisbett; Part IV. Values and Utilities: 15. The mind as a consuming organ T. C. Schelling; 16. Disappointment in decision making under uncertainty David E. Bell; 17. Marginal value and intrinsic risk aversion David E. Bell, and Howard Raiffa; 18. Knowing what you want: measuring labile values Baruch Fischhoff, Paul Slovic, and Sarah Lichetenstein; 19. Sources of bias in assessment procedures for utility functions John C. Hershey, Howard C. Kunreuther, and Paul J. H. Schoemaker; 20. Simplicity in decision analysis: an example and a discussion Ward Edwards, Detlof von Winterfeldt, and David L. Moody; 21. Value-focused thinking and the study of values Ralph L. Keeney; Part V. Areas of Application: 22. Behaviour under uncertainty and its implications for policy Kenneth J. Arrow; 23. The relevance of quasi rationality in competitive markets Thomas Russell, and Richard Thaler; 24. How senior managers think Daniel J. Isenberg; 25. Problems in producing usable knowledge for implementing liberating alternatives Chris Argyris; 26. On the framing of medical decisions Barbara J. McNeil, Stephen G. Pauker, and Amos Tversky; 27. Whether or not to administer amphotericin to an immunosuppressed patient with hematologic malignancy and undiagnosed fever Jonathan E. Gottlieb, and Stephen G. Pauker; 28. The effect of private attitudes on public policy: prenatal screening for neural tube defects as a prototype Stephen G. Pauker, Susan P. Pauker, and Barbar J. McNeil; 29. Discussion agenda for the session on medical decision making and minutes of a group discussion clinical decision making Milton C. Weinstein, (moderator), and Harvey V. Fineberg, Barbara J. McNeil, and Stephen G. Pauker (discussion rapporteur Robert J. Quinn).

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