Rational Choice in an Uncertain World: The Psychology of Judgement and Decision Making

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SAGE, Apr 13, 2001 - Psychology - 372 pages
5 Reviews
First Edition, Winner of the prestigious William James Award from the American Psychological Association

An understanding of the principles of rational decision making can help students improve the quality of their lives. Intended as an introductory textbook, the material in Rational Choice in an Uncertain World is not only of scholarly interest, but practical as well. Created specifically for courses on judgement and decision-making, this book makes research readily accessible to both undergraduate and graduate students. This Second Edition of the award-winning book, Rational Choice in an Uncertain World (1988) by Robyn M. Dawes, is sure to interest and enlighten students at all levels.

This new edition features:

New student friendly chapter introductions as well as conclusions and cross-references between chapters.

Award-winning authors are respected professors with over 30 years of experience in the field.

Practical, everyday examples from such areas as finance, medicine, law, and engineering.

Comprehensive and up-to-date information keep this edition abreast of the changing ideas within the discipline

Additional discussion of the descriptive, psychological models of decision making to expand upon the original emphasis on normative, rational, `Expected Utility Theory' models.

Equipped with this knowledge and an understanding of the principles of rational decision making, both undergraduate and graduate students can help improve the quality of their choices and, thus, their life.


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Great book. Recommended by a smart friend ;-) This book delves into how we make choices (duh). It does it from a clinical psychology point-of-view. But done right. Her statistics (both in theory and in practice) are what one would wish everyone in clinical work would use. When she drops into conjecture, she points it out herself. Valuable ideas from the book: 1) what makes a good, rational choice - specifically, I liked how a rational choice is one that looks at all the options at hand and then makes the most informed decision - informed by information as well as HOW we access information - this does a bit of damage to Blink putting Blink into a sociology category and not an actually cognitive / psychology category (where the book can be more fully enjoyed 2) Sunk Costs 3) Combinations have more intuitive weight than items alone 4) Making a list of pro's and con's, weighting them, then deciding has much better success than the best-guess of a master in a top - most of the time! 5) It is much easier to replace a theory someone has than it is to disprove it. Some pretty technical stuff in the book but still highly accessible. If you want to think about how you think, that is. 


Thinking and Deciding
What Is Decision Making?
A General Framework for Judgment
Judgments From Memory
Anchoring and Adjustment
Judgment by Similarity
Judging by Scenarios and Explanations
Thinking About Randomness and Causation
Complex Values and Attitudes
A Normative Rational Decision Theory
A Descriptive Psychological Decision Theory
In Praise of Uncertainty
The Principles of Probability Theory
Beliefs That Violate the Principles of Probability Theory
About the Authors

Thinking Rationally About Uncertainty
Simple Values

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About the author (2001)

Cass R. Sunstein is the Karl N. Llewellyn Distinguished Service Professor of Jurisprudence in the Law School and the Department of Political Science at the University of Chicago.
Reid Hastie is a professor of behavioral science in the Graduate School of Business at the University of Chicago.
John W. Payne is the Joseph J. Ruvane Jr. Professor of Management, professor of psychology, and research professor of statistics and decision sciences at the Fuqua School of Business at Duke University.
David A. Schkade is the Herbert D. Kelleher Regents Professor of Business at the University of Texas at Austin.
W. Kip Viscusi is the John F. Cogan Jr. Professor of Law and Economics at Harvard Law School.

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