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Herbert Simon’s spell on judgment and decision making

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  • Konstantinos V. Katsikopoulos
  • Cherng-Horng (Dan) Lan
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    Abstract

    How many judgment and decision making (JDM) researchers have not claimed to be building on Herbert Simon's work? We identify two of Simon's goals for JDM research: He sought to understand people's decision processes---the descriptive goal---and studied whether the same processes lead to good decisions---the prescriptive goal. To investigate how recent JDM research relates to these goals, we analyzed the articles published in the Journal of Behavioral Decision Making and in Judgment and Decision Making from 2006 to 2010. Out of 377 articles, 91 cite Simon or we judged them as directly relating to his goals. We asked whether these articles are integrative, in the following sense: For a descriptive article we asked if it contributes to building a theory that reconciles different conceptualizations of cognition such as neural networks and heuristics. For a prescriptive article we asked if it contributes to building a method that combines ideas of other methods such as heuristics and optimization models. Based on our subjective judgments we found that the proportion of integrative articles was 67% of the prescriptive and 52% of the descriptive articles. We offer suggestions for achieving more integration of JDM theories. The article concludes with the thesis that although JDM researchers work under Simon's spell, no one really knows what that spell is.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Society for Judgment and Decision Making in its journal Judgment and Decision Making.

    Volume (Year): 6 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 8 (December)
    Pages: 722-732

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    Handle: RePEc:jdm:journl:v:6:y:2011:i:8:p:722-732

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    Related research

    Keywords: Herbert Simon; judgment and decision making; bounded rationality.;

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    12. Augier, Mie & March, James G., 2002. "A model scholar: Herbert A. Simon (1916-2001)," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 1-17, September.
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    15. Kathleen L. Mosier, 2009. "Searching for coherence in a correspondence world," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 4(2), pages 154-163, March.
    16. Benjamin E. Hilbig, 2010. "Precise models deserve precise measures: A methodological dissection," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 5(4), pages 272-284, July.
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    22. Monica Bucciarelli & Sangeet Khemlani & P. N. Johnson-Laird, 2008. "The psychology of moral reasoning," Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, Society for Judgment and Decision Making, vol. 3, pages 121-139, February.
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