Decision-making can be regarded as the cognitive process resulting in the selection of a belief or a course of action among several alternative possibilities. Every decision-making process produces a final choice that may or may not prompt action.
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- The type of rationality we assume in economics — perfect, logical, deductive rationality — is extremely useful in generating solutions to theoretical problems. But it demands much of human behavior — much more in fact than it can usually deliver. If we were to imagine the vast collection of decision problems economic agents might conceivably deal with as a sea or an ocean, with the easier problems on top and more complicated ones at increasing depth, then deductive rationality would describe human behavior accurately only within a few feet of the surface. For example, the game Tic-Tac-Toe is simple, and we can readily find a perfectly rational, minimax solution to it. But we do not find rational “solutions” at the depth of Checkers; and certainly not at the still modest depths of Chess and Go.
- W. Brian Arthur. "Inductive Reasoning and Bounded Rationality (The El Farol Problem)" in Amer. Econ. Review (Papers and Proceedings), 84, 406, 1994. p. 1
- The dictionary defines "economics" as "a social science concerned chiefly with description and analysis of the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services." Here is another definition of economics which I think is more helpful in explaining how economics relates to software engineering.
- Economics is the study of how people make decisions in resource-limited situations.
- This definition of economics fits the major branches of classical economics very well.
- Macroeconomics is the study of how people make decisions in resource-limited situations on a national or global scale. It deals with the effects of decisions that national leaders make on such issues as tax rates, interest rates, foreign and trade policy.
- Microeconomics is the study of how people make decisions in resource-limited situations on a more personal scale. It deals with the decisions that individuals and organizations make on such issues such as how much insurance to buy, which word processor to buy, or what prices to charge for their products or services.
- Barry Boehm "Software engineering economics." Software Engineering, IEEE Transactions on 1 (1984): 4-21. p. 4
- The function of knowledge in the decision-making process is to determine which consequences follow upon which of the alternative strategies. It is the task of knowledge to select from the whole class of possible consequences a more limited subclass, or even (ideally) a single set of consequences correlated with each strategy.
- Herbert A. Simon (1947). Administrative Behavior: A Study of Decision-Making Processes in Administrative Organization. p. 78