psychpost | 11/17/2011 12:12:00 PM
Another very important cognitive function that is studied in Cognitive Psychology is Decision Making. We make decisions every day and a lot of the time we don't even realize that there is a decision being made.
Decision: A choice among possibilities. It involves the assessment of the courses of action available.
Any situation that we would consider to be decision consists of alternatives, beliefs, and consequences.
|Visual representation of decision making.|
Alternatives are different courses of action and are represented by the branches of the tree. Beliefs are our estimate that a particular outcome will occur if we choose a specific alternative. Consequences are the outcomes that accompany the chosen alternative.
As you can see this is a basic outline of how decisions are made. My upcoming post will be about the "Expected Utility Model" which is a guide to making rational decisions. In the Expected Utility Model there are calculations involving value and probability of each outcome.
Along with attention and perception, decision making is one of my favorite topics within the field of Cognitive Psychology. It is very interesting to see how we want a certain outcome that may not be best or we choose an alternative that may not be optimal.
Information adapted from source: "Cognitive Psychology" Smith, Kosslyn 2007