Simon, Herbert A. - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics

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A New Theory of Decision-Making

Decision-making was the core of Simon's work. It was the heart of his dissertation, later published as Administrative Behavior, and it became the basis of his other contributions to organization theory, economics, psychology, and computer science. Decision-making, as Simon saw it, is purposeful, yet not rational, because rational decision-making would involve a complete specification of all possible outcomes conditional on possible actions in order to choose the single best among alternative possible actions. In challenging neoclassical economics, Simon found that such complex calculation is not possible. As a result, Simon wanted to replace the economic assumption of global rationality with an assumption that was more in correspondence with how humans actually make decisions, their computational limitations, and how they access information in a current environment (Simon 1955), thereby introducing the concepts of bounded rationality and satisficing.


Satisficing is the idea that decision makers...

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This section contains 975 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Simon, Herbert A. Encyclopedia Article
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Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics
Simon, Herbert A. from Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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