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Evolution and the Mechanisms of Decision Making$
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Peter Hammerstein and Jeffrey R. Stevens

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780262018081

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262018081.001.0001

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Sources of Variation within the Individual

Sources of Variation within the Individual

Chapter:
(p.227) 14 Sources of Variation within the Individual
Source:
Evolution and the Mechanisms of Decision Making
Author(s):

Gordon D. A. Brown

Alex M. Wood

Nick Chater

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9780262018081.003.0014

This chapter reviews sources of variation in decision making and choice that arise within the individual, and discusses the possible significance of such variation for the development of an evolutionarily plausible account of decision making. Different sources of within-individual variation are reviewed, including noise, general cognitive ability and life span changes, mood, and personality. The approaches taken by economics, cognitive psychology, and the psychology of personality and individual differences are compared to and contrasted with ecological and evolutionary approaches. It is argued that sampling models may provide a unified cognitive approach to within-and between-individual variation in human judgment and decision making, albeit one that has yet to be linked sufficiently to ecological and evolutionary approaches.

Keywords:   Strüngmann Forum Reports, variation in decision making, variation in choice, cognition, personality

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