An Overview of Cognition Roles in Decision-Making

An Overview of Cognition Roles in Decision-Making

Thaís Spiegel (Rio de Janeiro State University, Brazil)
Copyright: © 2014 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5202-6.ch008
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Background

Some models of decision-making involved in descriptive approaches, approximating to how decisions are really taken. However, advances in the understanding of the cognitive process have been partly incorporated into organizational applications. Although cognition figures among the earliest focuses for research (Thagard et al., 2007), it is still a subject with many open questions in all the fields where it is considered. Very recently (as compared with other fields) organization-related inquiries entered this group of interested parties (Spiegel, 2013).

In order to understand decision-making “completely,” and improve it, the underlying decision-making processes and the variables that affect the process must be examined (Roberts, 2002). Ola Svenson writes: “Human decision making cannot be understood simply by studying final decisions. The perceptual, emotional, and cognitive process which ultimately lead to the choice of a decision alternative must also be studied if we want to gain an adequate understanding of human decision making” (Svenson, 1979, as cited in Roberts, 2002, p. 6).

On this question, Simon (1985) argues that: “Nothing is more fundamental in setting our research agenda and informing our research methods than our view of the nature of the human beings whose behavior we are studying” (p. 303). Even when the focus is the outcome of the decision-making, ultimately it is the process that leads to it and allows it to be defined. While previous research was concerned with decision-making inputs and outputs, attention is now shifting to probe inside the “black box,” to examine the real processes involved in generating results from inputs (Roberts, 2002).

In that context, the hypothesis of this study is that the understanding of decision-making agents’ cognitive processes gives the basis necessary for understanding their decisions better. Once they are understood, that is believed to give access to the foundation underpinning description of human decisions (Spiegel, 2013).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Decision: The decision-making is understood as the deliberate choice of a course of action with the intention of producing a desired result.

Memory: The memory comprises a number of biological strategies and anatomical substrates; involves a complex mechanism that covers the storage and retrieval of experiences thus is closely associated with learning.

Cognition: The concept of cognition comes to all capture processes of external stimuli through sensory resources and processing, reduction, storage, retrieval and use of these stimuli.

Categorization: Categorization is the mental operation by which the brain classifies objects and events, comes the ability to group sensory events into meaningful categories.

Attention: Attention refers to the ability of the individual to respond predominantly stimuli that are significant to the detriment of others.

Emotion: Emotions are mental operations are accompanied by a previous experience, capable of guiding the behavior and conduct physiological adaptations necessary.

Consciousness: Consciousness is associated with the ability of human beings to get information itself, as well as get other people and objects.

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