S. Schneider & J. Shanteau

Document Type


Publication Date

January 2003


Cambridge University Press

Place of Publication

New York


Behavior-focused decision aids have had little documented success. A proposed contributor is this: To most deciders, decision quality entails myriad diverse facets, with an emphasis on material welfare. Yet, the typical decision aid (and its theoretical underpinning) is predicated on a narrow conception of decision quality that has other emphases. Deciders therefore often ignore such aids because they appear irrelevant to significant decider concerns. And when deciders do try the aids, the results disappoint them because the aids leave untouched quality dimensions that matter to them. Two empirical studies and a critical review of the most popular aiding approaches (from decision analysis to expert systems) support this thesis. The chapter offers for consideration a new, comprehensive decision quality conception intended to facilitate both fundamental and practical scholarship. The analysis also argues for decision attribution theories that would explain how deciders think they decide and why they believe that their decisions sometimes fail.