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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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Building Blocks of Human Decision Making

Building Blocks of Human Decision Making

(p.53) 4 Building Blocks of Human Decision Making
Evolution and the Mechanisms of Decision Making

Nick Chater

The MIT Press

This chapter considers the types of building blocks out of which the mechanisms for decision making in humans may be constructed. Two distinct types of mechanisms are distinguished: mechanisms involving substantive rationality, which embody specific patterns of behavior, values, or actions; and mechanisms that embody formal rationality, which seek to make an agent’s beliefs, values, and actions as coherent with each other as possible. It is suggested that both types of mechanisms are likely to play an important and complementary role in human decision making, although different theoretical positions place very different weight on the relative importance of each.

Keywords:   Strüngmann Forum Reports, decision making, behavior-based robotics, formal rationality, simple heuristics, substantive rationality

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