, Volume 172, Issue 1, pp 129–143 | Cite as

Decision science: from Ramsey to dual process theories

  • Nils-Eric SahlinEmail author
  • Annika Wallin
  • Johannes Persson


The hypothesis that human reasoning and decision-making can be roughly modeled by Expected Utility Theory has been at the core of decision science. Accumulating evidence has led researchers to modify the hypothesis. One of the latest additions to the field is Dual Process theory, which attempts to explain variance between participants and tasks when it comes to deviations from Expected Utility Theory. It is argued that Dual Process theories at this point cannot replace previous theories, since they, among other things, lack a firm conceptual framework, and have no means of producing independent evidence for their case.


Decision theory Decision science Decision-making Human reasoning Dual process theory Rationality Prospect theory Expected utility Normative man Economic man Rational angel Ramsey 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nils-Eric Sahlin
    • 1
    Email author
  • Annika Wallin
    • 2
  • Johannes Persson
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Medical EthicsLund UniversityLundSweden
  2. 2.Cognitive Science, Department of PhilosophySwedish Collegium for Advanced StudyLundSweden
  3. 3.Department of PhilosophyLund UniversityLundSweden

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