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Decision Theory

By | October 2012
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Decision Theory
Much information referencing decision theory and the decision-making process has been published. With that being said, information that gives a precise definition of decision theory is not readily available. Due to the lack of information relating specifically to decision theory, researchers have published a variety of different ways to theorize about the decision-making process and the elements involved in the process. In order to fully understand the different theories associated with decision theory, an individual must first educate themselves on the history behind the theory. History of Decision Theory

History associated with the decision theory has been published by Samuel Kovaic and Andres Sousa-Pouza, educators at Old Dominion University and associates of the Northeast Region Decision Sciences Institute (NEDSI). Kovaic and Sousa-Pouza (2010) provided a chronological history of the process through which knowledge is produced for decision theory. Condorcet (1793, 1847) was the first, and most notable, philosopher associated with decision theory. He hypothesized that discussion, clarification, and choice were the three stages involved in the decision process. He took an enlightened position, by revealing that the nature of decision making was intransitive and suggesting that individuals made decisions that were chronologically bounded.

John Dewey (1910) hypothesized that there were five consecutive stages in the decision process. The five stages postulated by Dewey were: 1.“A felt difficulty,
2.The definition of the character of that difficulty,
3.Suggestion of possible solutions,
4.Evaluation of the suggestion, and
5.Further observation and experiment” (Kovacic & Sousa-Poza, 2010, p. 494). Dewey’s approach, along with science’s dominant influence on the decision process and society’s demand for knowledge that is quantifiable, were well assimilated.

Herbert Simon (1960) made modifications to Dewey’s work. His modifications...
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