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# decision theory

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## Abraham Wald

(1902–50; b. Cluj, Romania; d. Travancore, India)Hungarian geometer and statistician. Wald gained his PhD in geometry in 1931 from U Vienna. In 1938, on the Nazi seizure of Austria, he moved to ...

A paradox of decision making that usually elicits responses inconsistent with expected utility theory. First, a choice is made betweenA $500,000 with probability 1 (certainty)B$2,500,000, \$500,000, ...

## behavioural decision theory

An approach to judgement and decision making focusing on subjective expected utility and on departures from normative (1) theories such as Bayes' theorem and utility theory. It was first put forward ...

## Blaise Pascal

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Overview Page
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Literature
(1623–1662) French mathematician, physicist, and religious philosopherPascal was the son of a respected mathematician and a local administrator in Clermont-Ferrand, France. Early in life Pascal ...

## cyclic preferences

Another name for intransitive preferences, especially when cyclicity exists among more than three alternatives, as in the following example. A die is rolled, and the outcomes I, II, …, VI, denoting ...

## decision analysis

A system of logic that uses elements of game theory and operational research to identify and quantify all available choices and their outcomes at each stage in designing a plan for preventive or ...

## decision-making

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The process of acting upon the best information available in order to determine the most appropriate course of action.

## dominance

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Overview Page
Subject:
Philosophy
In decision theory, one choice dominates another if it is at least as good under all outcomes and better under some. This is commonly put by saying that it can win and cannot lose. Pascal's wager may ...

## intransitive preferences

Preferences violating the condition that if one alternative is preferred to a second, and the second is preferred to a third, then the first should be preferred to the third. The following is the ...

## judgement

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Subject:
Philosophy
At different times philosophers have expressed their concern with the nature of judgement in different terms: the investigation may be called the theory of content, of belief, of propositions, of ...

## maximin principle

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Philosophy
A principle of decision theory, that counsels that at least in some circumstance, the right decision is that which maximizes the minimum outcome: i.e., that which makes the worst outcome as good as ...

## money pump

A pattern of intransitive or cyclic preferences causing a decision maker to be willing to pay repeated amounts of money to have these preferences satisfied without gaining any benefit. The simplest ...

## normative

1 Prescribing or establishing norms (1) or standards; prescriptive. For example, decision theory and classical game theory are normative inasmuch as they seek to prescribe how rational decision ...

## psychological decision theory

A normative (2) and descriptive approach to judgement and decision introduced in the early 1970s by the Israeli psychologists Amos Tversky (1937–96) and Daniel Kahneman (born 1934) and the US ...

## rational choice theory

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A theory in criminology which holds that offenders make rational decisions to seek advantage for themselves by criminal behaviour.

## Richard Jeffrey

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Subject:
Philosophy
(1926–2002).Princeton philosopher. Jeffrey helped develop the subjective interpretation of probability and Bayesian approaches to decision theory and confirmation. Using relatively simple ...

## secretary problem

An interesting problem in decision theory. There are n applicants for the post of secretary. The applicants are randomly ordered and each is interviewed in turn until an appointment is made. Before ...

## sure-thing principle

A precept, first enunciated and named by the US decision theorist Leonard J(immie) Savage (1917–71) in his book The Foundations of Statistics (1954), according to which, if an alternative A is judged ...

## utility

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1 The quality of being of practical use. See also utilitarian.2 A company that performs a public service (such as delivering water or energy to a region), subject to government regulation.

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