Encyclopedia of Geropsychology

2017 Edition
| Editors: Nancy A. Pachana

Decision Making

  • Rui MataEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-287-082-7_219


Choice; Inference


Decision making is the process by which a course of action is chosen from among two or more alternatives. This definition is broad enough to span different decision types and domains, from fast, habitual decisions to complex, life-changing ones. The extent to which such disparate decisions share or not the same underlying cognitive processes and are differentially affected by age-related change is an ongoing topic of research.

Historical Background

There are a number of different traditions in psychology, economics, and related disciplines to describe and formalize decision-making processes. The perhaps most prominent approach comes from expected value theory and related views, which describe decision making as the computation of expected value, that is, the weighting of the value of possible outcomes by their probability of occurrence (Bernoulli 1954). Variations of this principle introduce the idea of subjective value/utility and probability...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Singapore 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of BaselBaselSwitzerland