Straight Choices: The Psychology of Decision Making

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We all face a perplexing array of decisions every day. Straight Choices provides an integrative account of the psychology of decision making, in which clear connections are made between empirical results and how these results can help us to understand our uncertain world.

Throughout the text, there is an emphasis on the relationship between learning and decision making. The authors argue that the best way to understand how and why decisions are made is in the context of the learning and knowledge acquisition that precedes them and the feedback that follows them. The mechanisms of learning and the structure of environments in which decisions are made are carefully examined to explore the ways in which they act on our choices. From this, the authors go on to consider whether we are all constrained to fall prey to biases or whether with sufficient exposure can we find optimal decision strategies and improve our decision making.

This novel approach integrates findings from the decision and learning literatures to provide a unique perspective on the psychology of decision making. It will be of interest to researchers and students in cognitive psychology, as well as researchers in economics and philosophy interested in the nature of decision making.

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About the author (2007)

Ben Newell is a Senior lecturer in Cognitive Psychology in the School of Psychology at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, and a Research Fellow of the UCL Centre for Economic Learning and Social Evolution. Dr Newell‚e(tm)s research interests include judgment and decision making; behavioural economics and the implicit-explicit distinction in human learning and memory.

David Lagnado is a lecturer in Cognitive and Decision Sciences in the Division of Psychology and Language Sciences at University College London, England and a Research Fellow of the UCL Centre for Economic Learning and Social Evolution. Dr. Lagnado‚e(tm)s research interests include causal and probabilistic reasoning, judgment and decision making, and questions of rationality.

David Shanks is head of the Division of Psychology and Language Sciences, and Professor of Psychology, at University College London, England, and is a founder member of the UCL Centre for Economic Learning and Social Evolution. Professor Shanks‚e(tm) research interests include learning, memory, and decision making; the neuroscience of memory and amnesia, and the associated implicit-explicit distinction; computational modeling, especially with neural network models; and behavioural economics.

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