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Coherence and correspondence in engineering design: informing the conversation and connecting with judgment and decision-making research

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  • Konstantinos V. Katsikopoulos
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    I show how the coherence/correspondence distinction can inform the conversation about decision methods for engineering design. Some engineers argue for the application of multi-attribute utility theory while others argue for what they call heuristics. To clarify the differences among methods, I first ask whether each method aims at achieving coherence or correspondence. By analyzing statements in the design literature, I argue that utility theory aims at achieving coherence and heuristics aim at achieving correspondence. Second, I ask if achieving coherence always implies achieving correspondence. It is important to provide an answer because while in design the objective is correspondence, it is difficult to assess it, and coherence that is easier to assess is used as a surrogate. I argue that coherence does not always imply correspondence in design and that this is also the case in problems studied in judgment and decision-making research. Uncovering the conditions under which coherence implies, or does not imply, correspondence is a topic where engineering design and judgment and decision-making research might connect.

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

    Volume (Year): 4 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 2 (March)
    Pages: 147-153

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    Handle: RePEc:jdm:journl:v:4:y:2009:i:2:p:147-153
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    1. Keeney,Ralph L. & Raiffa,Howard, 1993. "Decisions with Multiple Objectives," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521438834.
    2. Manel Baucells & Juan A. Carrasco & Robin Hogarth, 2005. "Cumulative dominance and heuristic performance in binary multi-attribute choice," Economics Working Papers 895, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
    3. R. Duncan Luce & Detlof von Winterfeldt, 1994. "What Common Ground Exists for Descriptive, Prescriptive, and Normative Utility Theories?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 40(2), pages 263-279, February.
    4. Chris Starmer, 2000. "Developments in Non-expected Utility Theory: The Hunt for a Descriptive Theory of Choice under Risk," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(2), pages 332-382, June.
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