What Can Evolution Do for Us?
This chapter examines the contributions that evolutionary theory can make to an integrated science of decision making. It begins with a discussion of classical decision theory and analyzes the conceptual and empirical failures of this approach. Mechanistic explanations, which do not explicitly invoke evolutionary arguments, are presented to account for these failures. Thereafter, evolutionary approaches to decision making are examined and the failures revisited in light of evolutionary theory. It is shown that in some cases “irrational” behavior might be adaptive. The chapter concludes by exploring the open questions, levels of analysis, and policy implications that an evolutionary approach can bring to decision making.
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