Decomposition patterns in problem solving
AbstractThe paper develops a theory of biases in decision making. Discovering a strategy for solving a game is a complex problem that may be solved by decomposition; a player decomposing a problem into many simple sub- problems may easily identify the optimal solution to each sub-problem: however it is shown that even though all partial solutions are optimal, the solution to the global problem may be largely sub-optimal. The conditions under which a decomposition process gives rise to a sub- optimal solution are explored, and it is shown that the sub-optimalities ultimately originate from the process of categorization that governs the creation of a decomposition pattern. Decisions based on a strategy discovered by decomposition are therefore frequently biased . The persistence of biased behaviours, observed in many experiments, is explained by showing the stability of different and non optimal representations of the same problem. An application to a simplified version of Rubik cube is finally developed.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by EconWPA in its series Experimental with number 0309003.
Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: 22 Sep 2003
Date of revision: 29 Sep 2003
Note: Type of Document - Pdf; prepared on PC ; to print on PostScript; pages: 38 ; figures: included
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Other versions of this item:
- C9 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-CBE-2003-09-28 (Cognitive & Behavioural Economics)
- NEP-CMP-2003-09-28 (Computational Economics)
- NEP-EXP-2003-09-28 (Experimental Economics)
- NEP-GTH-2003-09-28 (Game Theory)
- NEP-HPE-2003-09-28 (History & Philosophy of Economics)
- NEP-MIC-2003-09-28 (Microeconomics)
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