Cognitive Process Elements of People Decision-Making

Cognitive Process Elements of People Decision-Making

Thais Spiegel (Rio de Janeiro State University, Brazil)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7362-3.ch045
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The ability to make choices is regarded as essential to human action and to modern life, individually, collectively, and in the corporate context, and is crucial to the concept of freedom. This chapter examines individual decision-making processes. In this respect, it is important to distinguish between the task of deciding, described as a system of events and relationships in the external, “objective” world and the system of cognitive processes that take place in the “psychological world.” The study of decision making has a long history that spans a variety of perspectives, philosophical positions, and prescriptions—amidst a great deal of controversy—that have evolved into descriptive processes and approximated how decisions are actually taken. This exploratory study builds on the premise that, in order for decision making to be understood completely and improved, the underlying cognitive processes must be examined. It thus sets out to identify how decision making is shaped by the cognitive processes of the agents involved.
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Some models of decision-making involved in descriptive approaches, approximating to how decisions are really taken. In the heuristics and biases program, the focus is on the individual's process to reach a conclusion, i.e. in the judgment that leads to the decision. It can be said that the central input is to indicate the existence of particular types of processing, covering certain areas in greater or lesser extent, and that in their function there is a set of trends in decisions made. It is relevant to point out that people do not decide rationally. It refers to a set of evidences of bounded rationality and systematic deviation from the optimal model, the expected decisions. However, it fails to explain why the heuristics manifest, how they operate in cognitive terms.

Key Terms in this Chapter

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.

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.

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

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