The Cognitive Process of Decision Making

The Cognitive Process of Decision Making

Yingxu Wang (University of Calgary, Canada) and Guenther Ruhe (University of Calgary, Canada)
DOI: 10.4018/jcini.2007040105
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Abstract

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.

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