Journal of the Operational Research Society

, Volume 60, Issue 2, pp 268–275

Behavioural decision theory for multi-criteria decision analysis: a guided tour

Theoretical Paper

DOI: 10.1057/palgrave.jors.2602550

Cite this article as:
Morton, A. & Fasolo, B. J Oper Res Soc (2009) 60: 268. doi:10.1057/palgrave.jors.2602550


Multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) involves asking decision makers difficult questions, and can leave them thinking that their judgements are not as coherent as they might have thought. This experience can be distressing and may even lead to rejection of the analysis. The psychology of preference sheds light both on how people naturally make choices without decision analytic assistance, and on how people think about the MCDA elicitation questions. As such, it can help the analyst to respond helpfully to difficulties which decision makers may face. In this paper, we review research from Behavioural Decision Theory relevant to MCDA. Our review follows the MCDA process, discussing research relevant to the structuring, value elicitation, and weighting phases of the analysis, outlining relevant and important findings, and open questions for research and practice.


decision analysis multi-criteria decision analysis behavioural decision theory psychology decision biases experiments problem structuring 

Copyright information

© Operational Research Society Ltd. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.London School of Economics and Political ScienceLondonUK