SMART (Simple Multi-Attribute Rating Technique, [Edwards, 1971, 1977]) provides a simple way to implement the principles of multiattribute utility theory (MAUT). Edwards [1977] argued that decisions depend on values and probabilities, both subjective quantities. Error can arise in modeling, and can also arise from elicitation. Modeling error is due to applying a model with simplifying assumptions. Elicitation error arises when measures obtained do not accurately reflect subject preference. The more complicated the questions, the more elicitation error there will be. SMART requires no judgments of preference or indifference among hypothetical alternatives, as is required with Logical Decision and most MAUT methods. Edwards argued [1977, p. 327] that hypothetical judgments were unreliable and unrepresentative of real preferences, and bore untutored decision makers into rejection of the elicitation process or acceptance of any response that would most quickly terminate questioning.


Decision Maker Important Objective Relative Score Multiattribute Utility Hypothetical Alternative 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • David L. Olson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Business Analysis, College of Business Administration and Graduate School of BusinessTexas A & M UniversityCollege StationUSA

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