Mind & Society

, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 173–197 | Cite as

Symposium on ‘‘Cognition and Rationality: Part I’’ Relationships between rational decisions, human motives, and emotions

  • Cristiano Castelfranchi
  • Francesca Giardini
  • Francesca Marzo
Original Article


In the decision-making and rationality research field, rational decision theory (RDT) has always been the main framework, thanks to the elegance and complexity of its mathematical tools. Unfortunately, the formal refinement of the theory is not accompanied by a satisfying predictive accuracy, thus there is a big gap between what is predicted by the theory and the behaviour of real subjects. Here we propose a new foundation of the RDT, which has to be based on a cognitive architecture for reason-based agents, acting on the basis of their beliefs in order to achieve their goals. The decision process is a cognitive evaluation of conflicting goals, based on different beliefs and values, but also on emotions and desires. We refer to a cognitive analysis of emotions and we integrate them in this more general RDT.


Rational decision theory Decision-making Rationality Emotions Cognition 


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Copyright information

© Fondazione Rosselli 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cristiano Castelfranchi
    • 1
    • 2
  • Francesca Giardini
    • 1
  • Francesca Marzo
    • 1
  1. 1.Consiglio Nazionale della Ricerche (CNR)Istituto di Scienze e Tecnologie Della CognizioneRomeItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento di Scienze della ComunicazioneUniversità di SienaSienaItaly

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