IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

The Cognitive Process of Decision Making


  • Yingxu Wang

    (University of Calgary, Canada)

  • Guenther Ruhe

    (University of Calgary, Canada)


Decision making is one of the basic cognitive processes of human behaviors by which a preferred option or a course of actions is chosen from among a set of alternatives based on certain criteria. Decision theories are widely applied in many disciplines encompassing cognitive informatics, computer science, management science, economics, sociology, psychology, political science, and statistics. A number of decision strategies have been proposed from different angles and applica-tion domains such as the maximum expected utility and Bayesian method. However, there is still a lack of a fundamental and mathematical decision model and a rigorous cognitive process for decision making. This article presents a fundamental cognitive decision making process and its mathematical model, which is described as a sequence of Cartesian-product based selections. A rigorous description of the decision process in real-time process algebra (RTPA) is provided. Real-world decisions are perceived as a repetitive application of the fundamental cognitive process. The result shows that all categories of decision strategies fit in the formally described decision process. The cognitive process of decision making may be applied in a wide range of decision-based systems such as cognitive informatics, software agent systems, expert systems, and decision support systems.

Suggested Citation

  • Yingxu Wang & Guenther Ruhe, 2007. "The Cognitive Process of Decision Making," International Journal of Cognitive Informatics and Natural Intelligence (IJCINI), IGI Global, vol. 1(2), pages 73-85, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:igg:jcini0:v:1:y:2007:i:2:p:73-85

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Cartenì, Armando & Marzano, Vittorio & Henke, Ilaria & Cascetta, Ennio, 2022. "A cognitive and participative decision-making model for transportation planning under different uncertainty levels," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 386-398.
    2. Mariana Sedliačiková & Patrik Aláč & Mária Moresová, 2020. "How Behavioral Aspects Influence the Sustainable Financial Decisions of Shareholders: An Empirical Study and Proposal for a Relevant Decision-Making Concept," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(12), pages 1-18, June.
    3. Tom Waas & Jean Huge & Thomas BLOCK & Tarah Wright & Francisco Javier Benitez Capistros & Aviel Verbruggen, 2014. "Sustainability assessment and indicators: Tools in a decision-making strategy for sustainable development," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/189410, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    4. Catherine Le Roux & Marius Pretorius, 2016. "Navigating Sustainability Embeddedness in Management Decision-Making," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 8(5), pages 1-23, May.
    5. Petya Koleva, 2021. "Towards the Development of an Empirical Model for Islamic Corporate Social Responsibility: Evidence from the Middle East," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 171(4), pages 789-813, July.
    6. Adam Sulich & Letycja Sołoducho-Pelc & Marcos Ferasso, 2021. "Management Styles and Decision-Making: Pro-Ecological Strategy Approach," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 13(4), pages 1-18, February.
    7. Wilkin, Carla & Ferreira, Aldónio & Rotaru, Kristian & Gaerlan, Luigi Red, 2020. "Big data prioritization in SCM decision-making: Its role and performance implications," International Journal of Accounting Information Systems, Elsevier, vol. 38(C).
    8. Tom Waas & Jean Hugé & Thomas Block & Tarah Wright & Francisco Benitez-Capistros & Aviel Verbruggen, 2014. "Sustainability Assessment and Indicators: Tools in a Decision-Making Strategy for Sustainable Development," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 6(9), pages 1-23, August.
    9. Carola Garrecht & Till Bruckermann & Ute Harms, 2018. "Students’ Decision-Making in Education for Sustainability-Related Extracurricular Activities—A Systematic Review of Empirical Studies," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 10(11), pages 1-19, October.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:igg:jcini0:v:1:y:2007:i:2:p:73-85. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no bibliographic references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Journal Editor (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.