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Decision-Making and Action

Jean-Charles Pomerol, UPMC, France

ISBN: 9781848214101

Publication Date: August 2012   Hardback   288 pp.

125.00 USD

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Making a decision, of any importance, is never simple. On the one hand, specialists in decision theory do not come within the reach of most policy makers and, secondly, there are very few books on pragmatic decision that are not purely anecdotal. In addition, there is virtually no book that provides a link between decision-making and action. This book provides a bridge between the latest results in artificial intelligence, neurobiology, psychology and decision-making for action. What is the role of intuition or emotion? What are the main psychological biases of which we must be wary? How can we avoid being manipulated? What is the proper use of planning? How can we remain rational even if one is not an expert in probabilities? Perhaps more importantly for managers, how does one go from decision to action? So many questions fundamental to the practice of decision-making are addressed. This book dissects all issues that arise almost daily for decision-makers, at least for major decisions. Drawing on numerous examples, this book answers, in plain language and imagery, all your questions. The final chapter takes the form of a brief reminder - everything you have to remember to be a good decision-maker.


1. What is a Decision, or What Does Decision Theory Have to Teach Us?.
2. Scenarios and Conditional Probabilities.
3. The Process of Decision-Making and its Rationality, or What Does Artificial Intelligence Have to Teach Us?.
4. Intuition, Emotion, Recognition and Reasoning or, What Does the Neurobiology of Decision-Making Have to Teach Us?.
5. Decision-Making in the Presence of Conflicting Criteria, or What Does a Multicriterion Decision Aid Have to Teach Us?.
6. The Decision-Maker’s Psychology, or What Does Psychology Have to Teach Us?.
7. Context of the Decision: Intention, Commitment, Trust, Fairness, Authority and Freedom.
8. Action: Giving the Impetus or Managing.
9. Vade Mecum of the Acting Decision-Maker.

About the Authors

Jean-Charles Pomerol is a specialist of Decision Support Systems, and former project leader for information technology in the Engineering Sciences Department at the CNRS. He was formerly in charge of the Artificial Intelligence laboratory at UPMC, Paris, France, as well as being the President of UPMC between 2006 and 2011. In this book, the author shares all this accumulated experience with the reader.


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