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Executive Function[edit]

The executive system needs to be represented in this article. Executive functions is the neurocognitive construct that encompasses self-regulatory and task-oriented cognition and behaviour. Decision making is hugely influenced (if not entirely controlled) by executive functioning, particularly in the inhibition of habitual responses and the ability to retrieve goals from memory and hold them (in working memory) for the execution of behaviour.

Also note that "executive functions" is not an area of the Baddeley & Hitch working memory model, nor is their "central executive" a key component of executive functioning. Rather, they are closely related concepts that share a term and are often used in conjunction with one another. The Baddeley & Hitch model of a central executive is etiologically questionable (albeit historically useful), but the realm of executive functions (although it is quite broad) remains very much theoretically intact. -Fractaluniverse187 (talk) 02:37, 4 April 2009 (UTC) 22:35, 03 April 2009.


Two comments apply to the following:

"It is a construction that imputes commitment to action. That is, based on observable actions, we assume that people have made a commitment to effect the action."

First, " ... commitment to action" may be problematic because it may be too strong. How about 'It is a construction that imputes an intention to act or believe.' I am thinking of the case where I decide that a color is mauve and another case where I decide that I do feel hurt that I wasn't invited to my friend's birthday celebration. In either of those cases, I do not think we're prepared to say that a commitment to action can be imputed to me.

Second, rather than _assuming_ that a person has made a commitment to effect an action or has settled on a belief, don't we actually _conclude_ that .... ? It seems more flexible to allow that our conclusion was erroneously reached than that our assumption was false, when we say 'John decided to lose money by betting against Secretariat.' We don't _assume_ that John intended to lose money based on the fact that he bet against Secretariat, do we? We _conclude_ that that must have been his intention after the fact, in conjunction with some general principle such as 'All people who bet are trying to gain money' and a specific statement such as 'Secretariat is very likely to win."

who wrote this? thats a question that needs to be answered.

Decision Making in Academia[edit]

This comment seems spiteful (or maybe just irreverent). It should be deleted.

Done. (I forgot that I wasn't signed in) Dujang Prang 14:26, 30 November 2006 (UTC)

Logical decision making is an important part of all science-based professions, where specialists apply their knowledge in a given area to make informed decisions. For example, medical decision making often involves making a diagnosis and selecting an appropriate treatment. Some[which?] research using naturalistic methods shows, however, that in situations with higher time pressure, higher stakes, or increased ambiguities, experts use intuitive decision making rather than structured approaches, following a recognition primed decision approach to fit a set of indicators into the expert's experience and immediately arrive at a satisfactory course of action without weighing alternatives. Recent robust decision efforts have formally integrated uncertainty into the decision making process. However, decision analysis, recognized and included uncertainties with a structured and rationally justifiable method of decision making since its conception in 1964.

Regarding this paragraph, the source is Gary Klein and his studies in decision making.

Decision making software[edit]

What about adding Decision making tools list? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Jusperstb (talkcontribs) 10:38, 15 March 2007 (UTC).

This article is a jumble[edit]

At the very least the following distinct areas are being covered:

  • Social/Organizational decision making
  • Formal decision-making algorithms
  • Decision-making heuristics
  • Individual decision making

It doesn't make a lot of sense to include all of these. I would welcome points of view about which of these points are best covered in some other article to which we ought to direct users. I also don't think that any of these are comprehensively covered. DCDuring 14:36, 11 October 2007 (UTC)

I'm disappointed that the article is more prescriptive than dsescriptive, especially the middle section. i.e. it is more weighted towards saying what you should be doing rather than telling it as it actually is.
Also, I came to the article looking for something on management decision-making, as practised in firms and government. It's an important topic, as everyone experiences the effects of it, so hasn't any research been done on this?
Isn't there a value in studying how companies and government actually make decisions, rather than seeing how their efforts match up to an ideal process? After all, research into riots doesn't involve examining what makes a good riot. Chrisemms (talk) 12:08, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

"Adding an article to Wikipedia"[edit]

I think the flowchart is a needless self-reference. Could someone make/find a replacement? Jobarts-Talk 16:18, 6 September 2008 (UTC)

Comment: I actually like the flowchart. When writing an article, I'm always thinking about what examples will be well-known to my readers. Certainly if someone is reading a Wikipedia article, they are familiar with the context of the flowchart. DrJill-from-NH (talk) 16:39, 26 February 2012 (UTC)

What if any does Fortunate chance/Good Luck play in Decsion making?[edit]

Many times a bad or what is thought toi be bad .Decsion is made only to have it come out better then the planned decsion! Is this just chnace or "Good Luck" Or both? Maybe article could give play to a "bad" decsion truning out to be a "good" decsion by whatever chance or Good Fortune? Thanks(dated by me for file PMSunsetThurs.Aug20,20092stcent.Dr.EdsonAndre'JohnsonD.D.ULC Lost100"X")SoCalKid (talk) 02:41, 21 August 2009 (UTC)

Academic societies[edit]

Hi, Ronz and other readers,

You keep reverting my attempts to add links to two major academic societies that focus on decision making (SJDM at / SMDM at However, academic societies are linked in other wikipedia articles (cf Psychology, which links the American Psychological Association and Society).

My rationale for inclusion is point 3 of WP:ELYES: Sites that contain neutral and accurate material that is relevant to an encyclopedic understanding of the subject and cannot be integrated into the Wikipedia article due to copyright issues, amount of detail (such as professional athlete statistics, movie or television credits, interview transcripts, or online textbooks), or other reasons. These sites contain such material.

Your rationale for exclusion is "off topic", "promotional", and ELNO 1, 4, 13. ELNO 1 is: Any site that does not provide a unique resource beyond what the article would contain if it became a featured article. ELNO 4 is essentially promotional. ELNO 13 is: Sites that are only indirectly related to the article's subject: the link should be directly related to the subject of the article...

I don't see how any of these apply in this case - have you visited these sites? Per wikipedia policy, I'll leave off the links while we discuss this, but I'd like to hear in more detail your concerns. I'd also be happy to hear from other readers of this page about this issue.

Alansz (talk) 21:13, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for starting this discussion.
In general, links to related societies, organizations, etc. fail WP:EL.
Could the societies meet our notability criteria? If so, the solution would be to start articles on the societies, then link them within this article.
Otherwise, I suggest finding references from the societies' publications, and incorporate them into the article to verify current information, or expand upon what we have. --Ronz (talk) 21:35, 9 December 2010 (UTC)

"Previously unpublished synthesis" tag[edit]

Somebody put this tag on the article, with a rather cryptic edit summary. I don't have a problem with the tag, but I'm wondering what this is all about. Lou Sander (talk) 14:19, 30 October 2013 (UTC)

Because I saw this edit come up on my watchlist, and I agreed with the IP's sentiment. So rather than revert, I dug up a template that seemed appropriate. I wanted to see if we could get a discussion going around making this article more useful for readers. Right now, it contains a lot of good citations, but the overall organization seems kind of haphazard (e.g. "Information Overload" is its own section, following a fairly detailed discussion of information overload in a previous section--a discussion which links to the article on information overload!).
There are also a lot of ways in which the article is written that I would like to see changed to comply better with our MOS:
  • "Decision making techniques can be separated into two broad categories." (weasel words)
  • "It is important to differentiate between problem analysis and decision making." (editorializing)
  • "Yet, at another level, it might be regarded as a problem solving activity which is terminated when a satisfactory solution is reached." (original research?)
  • "This area of decision making, although it is very old and has attracted the interest of many researchers and practitioners, is still highly debated" (expressions of doubt)
More generally, I think the article is wayyy too jargony to be useful as a general reference about a major concept, and could also be substantially pruned down. Decision-making has been an area of scientific and philosophical inquiry for centuries, but there is little sense of the origins of our conception of decision-making here; mostly we get a bunch of competing theories, and most of them relatively recent. So the article ends up seeming like a clearinghouse of various scientific theories and specialized terminology, without much cohesion or flow. The articles on Cognition and Problem solving (which is linked to from this article, confusingly, as problem analysis) both do a reasonably good job of presenting the basic information about the concepts they describe from various historical, geographical and disciplinary perspectives. I think this article could benefit from a similar approach. But I think to do so we would have to tear it down to its foundations and reconfigure it.
From its edit history, the article has been under extensive development for years, mostly by well-meaning contributors but without much collaboration. If there are two or three others who would want to undertake a re-write, I think we could improve the article substantially. Any takers? - J-Mo Talk to Me Email Me 21:49, 30 October 2013 (UTC)
I could be involved in this, but I don't want to do any heavy lifting. I'm the major contributor to Analytic hierarchy process, though my expertise in the field came mostly from hammering out the article. I DO have access to experts in AHP and decision making, and I know pretty much about editing Wikipedia. Additionally, there is an ISAHP conference in Washington, DC, in mid-2014, at which they want to talk about the desirability of AHP concepts getting wider use in the world at large. I don't have any AHP axe to grind, but if I were involved in this project, I could maybe take some insights to the ISAHP folks. Lou Sander (talk) 22:43, 30 October 2013 (UTC)

Removed sentence[edit]

I removed the following sourced sentence: "Most decisions are followed by some form of cost-benefit analysis.<ref>{{cite journal |last=Doya |first=Kenji |coauthors=Michael N Shadlen |title=Decision Making |journal=Current Opinion in Neurobiology |year=2012 |volume=22 |issue=6 |pages=911–913 |doi=10.1016/j.conb.2012.10.003}}</ref>"

Unfortunately I don't have access to the source, but this sentence was originally added by Barrie99. To me, the original sentence written by Barrie99 sounds like a probable misrepresentation of the source. "Decisions are likely to be involuntary and following the decision, we spend time analyzing the cost and benefits of that decision." Decisions are likely to be involuntary - to the best of my knowledge, this is just a theory, and not yet accepted facts. And do we really make a cost-benefit analysis after the involuntary decision?? So I removed the sentence, but please feel free to put it back in if you do have access to the article, and the sentence is correct and I am wrong! Lova Falk talk 19:08, 3 May 2014 (UTC)

Economics example[edit]

Currently the section "Rational and irrational decision making" says:

In economics, it is thought that if humans are rational and free to make their own decisions, then they would behave according to rational choice theory.[ref name=Schacter]]Schacter, Gilbert, Wegner (2011). Psychology. Worth. pp. 368–370. ] This theory states that people make decisions by determining the likelihood of a potential outcome, the value of the outcome, multiplying the two, and then choosing the more positive of the two outcomes. For example, with a 50% chance of winning $20 or a 90% chance of winning $10, people are thought to be more likely to choose the first option (.50 X $20 = $10 : .90 X $10 = $9 :: $10 > $9).[ref name=Schacter/]

Sorry, but that's just a ridiculous misstatement of rational choice theory. See for example Expected utility theory. If the cited psychology textbook actually says this, then it's not a reliable source, at least not for statements about rational choice theory. That's why I'm removing the example from the article. Loraof (talk) 19:55, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

Not only that, but next it says

In reality, however, there are some factors that affect decision-making abilities and cause people to make irrational decisions, one of them being availability bias. Availability bias is the tendency for some items that are more readily available in memory to be judged as more frequently occurring.[1] For example, someone who watches a lot of movies about terrorist attacks may think the frequency of terrorism to be higher than it actually is.

Well, in rational decision theory that's not considered irrational, since subjective probability can differ from objective probability, and rational behavior is rational given one's perceptions. So I'll change this too. Loraof (talk) 20:13, 19 May 2015 (UTC)

  1. ^ Cite error: The named reference Schacter was invoked but never defined (see the help page).