Beyond expected utility: Rethinking behavioral decision research.
Much research in psychology has evaluated the quality of people’s decisions by comparisons with subjective expected utility (SEU) theory. This article suggests that typical arguments made for the status of utility theory as normative do not justify its use by psychologists as a standard by which to evaluate decision quality. It is argued that to evaluate decision quality, researchers need to identify those decision processes that tend to lead to desirable outcomes. It is contended that a good decision-making process must be concerned with how (and whether) decision makers evaluate potential consequences of decisions, the extent to which they accurately identify all relevant consequences, and the way in which they make final choices.