A Science of Decision Making

A Science of Decision Making : The Legacy of Ward Edwards

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Ward Edwards is well known as the father of behavioral decision making. In his 1954 Psychological Bulletin paper on decision making, he brought psychological ideas into what had been the province of economists. His influence in this realm is so pervasive that the Nobel committee was able to trace a direct path from Edwards's work to Daniel Kahneman's 2002 Prize for prospect theory. In a 1963 Psychological Review paper, Edwards brought Bayesian statistics to the attention of psychologists, who have continued to proliferate Bayesian ideas, underscoring the importance of the perspective. In a 1962 IEEE paper, Edwards foresaw how the world of intelligence gathering and analysis could by transformed by systems in which humans provided (subjective) probabilities and machines provided computational power. He also showed, in a 1986 book written with Detlof von Winterfeldt, how multiattribute utility analysis could help real-world decision makers generate satisfactory solutions to complex problems. In this book, 29 of Ward Edwards's most important published papers are reprinted, a selection that spans six decades, allowing the reader to see how this strikingly creative thinker generated many of the ideas that are now core beliefs among current researchers. It is perhaps less well known that Edwards continued to make substantial contributions during the years after his retirement. Illness reduced his public appearances, but he continued his incisive thinking behind the scenes. At the time of his passing, he was involved in several projects, and seven new papers from these projects were completed for this book by his last set of collaborators. Edwards's papers are a treat to read. His prose is the model of elegant simplicity, yet full of style and wit. With each paper, the editors have included a short introduction that presents Edwards's reflections on the content or impact of the older papers, or describes the creation of the new ones. Obituaries written by former students and colleagues flesh out the human side of this remarkable scholar.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 536 pages
  • 176 x 258 x 46mm | 1,138.51g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • numerous tables and figures
  • 0195322983
  • 9780195322989

Review quote

"Why would anyone want to read a collection of someone's articles, some more than 40 years old and most of which can be found in other sources? Primarily because they are still worth reading, and having them available in one collection is very helpful. Knowing what inspired the articles gives them an added significance, and many of the older articles afford insights into topics that are central to the study of decision making today. The writing style is always elegant and witty. While technical language is essential for topics that are treated with mathematical precision, the technical details are accompanied by readily accessible explanations." --Gordon Pitz in PsycCRITIQUES"This is a remarkable book. The editors, Jie and David Weiss, deserve high praise for the monumental task they have accomplished in providing the best and most thorough analyses of decision-making research conducted by the field's foremost scholar--Ward Edwards. The excellent collection of essays virtually encircles extant perspectives on knowledge and thought concerning decision-making processes. Reading this volume will undoubtedly make the reader a better decision maker."--Anthony D. Ong, Assistant Professor of Human Development, Cornell University "Ward Edwards attracted many excellent collaborators in his long and illustrious career. Two of them were Jie Weiss and David Weiss. Their book is a wonderful collection of Ward's work from his early to late years, some published for the first time here. The book deserves to be in the hands of anyone seeking inspiration for studying or improving how decisions are made."--Warren Thorngate, Professor of Psychology, Carleton Universityshow more

About Jie W. Weiss

Jie W. Weiss earned a doctorate in clinical health psychology from Alliant University after spending the early part of her academic career as a professor of American literature in China. During a postdoctoral period at the University of Southern California, she worked on the problem of adolescent smoking and drug use. Currently a faculty member in the Department of Health Science at California State University, Fullerton, she adopted a decision-making focus for her research after meeting Ward Edwards. David J. Weiss received his bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania and his doctorate from the University of California, San Diego. Since 1970, he has been in the Psychology Department at California State University, Los Angeles. His research domain is judgment and decision making, with recent emphasis on the assessment of expertise when no external standard of proficiency is available.show more

Table of contents

Introduction by the Editors Contributors to papers written especially for this Volume Complete listing of publications written or co-written by Edwards ; I Papers on Behavioral Decision Theory ; 1. Edwards, W. (1954). The theory of decision making. Psychological Bulletin, 51, 380-417 ; 2. Edwards, W. (1961). Behavioral decision theory. Annual Review of Psychology, 12, 473-498 ; 3. Edwards, W. (1961). Probability learning in 1000 trials. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 62, 385-94 ; 4. Edwards, W. (1962). Dynamic decision theory and probabilistic information processing. Human Factors, 4, 59-73 ; 5. Edwards, W. (1962). Subjective probabilities inferred from decisions. Psychological Review, 69, 109-135 ; 6. Phillips, L.D., & Edwards, W. (1966). Conservatism in a simple probability inference task. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 72, 346-354 ; 7. Miller, L.W., Kaplan, R.J., & Edwards, W. (1969). JUDGE: A laboratory evaluation. Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, 4, 97-111 ; 8. Edwards, W. (1971). Bayesian and regression models of human information processing: A myopic perspective. Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, 6, 639-648 ; 9. Fryback, D.G. & Edwards, W. (1973). Choices among bets by Las Vegas gamblers: Absolute and contextual effects. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 98, 271-278 ; 10. Edwards, W. (1998). Hailfinder: Tools for and experiences with Bayesian normative modeling. American Psychologist, 53, 416-428 ; II Papers on Statistics and Methodology ; 11. Edwards, W. (1961). Costs and payoffs are instructions. Psychological Review, 68, 275-284 ; 12. Edwards, W., Lindman, H., & Savage, L.J. (1963). Bayesian statistical inference for psychological research. Psychological Review, 70, 193-242 ; 13. Edwards, W. (1965). Tactical note on the relation between scientific and statistical hypotheses. Psychological Bulletin, 63, 400-402 ; 14. Slovic, P., Lichtensen, S. & Edwards, W. (1965). Boredom-induced changes in preferences among bets. American Journal of Psychology, 78, 208-217. ; 15. Edwards, W. (1983). Human cognitive capabilities, representativeness, and ground rules for research. In P.C. Humphreys, O. Svenson, & A. Vari (Eds.), Analyzing and aiding decision processes (pp. 507-513). Amsterdam: North-Holland ; 16. von Winterfeldt, D., & Edwards, W. (1982). Costs and payoffs in perceptual research. Psychological Bulletin, 91, 609-622. ; 17. Edwards, W., Schum D., & Winkler, R.L. (1990). Murder and (of?) the likelihood principle: A trialogue. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 3, 75-87 ; 18. Weiss, D.J., & Edwards, W. (2005). A mean for all seasons. Behavior Research Methods, 37, 677-683 ; 19. Weiss, J.W., Edwards, W., & Weiss, D.J. (prepared for this volume). The clinical significance decision ; 20. Weiss, D.J., Edwards, W., & Shanteau, J. (prepared for this volume). The measurement of behavior: Indices and standards ; III Papers on Diagnosis ; 21. Gustafson, D. H., Edwards, W., Phillips, L. D., & Slack, W. V. (1969). Subjective probabilities in medical diagnosis. IEEE Transactions on Man-Machine Systems, MMS-10, 3, 61-65 ; 22. Edwards, W. (1972). N = 1. Diagnosis in unique cases. In J. A. Jacquez (Ed.) Computer diagnosis and diagnostic methods (pp. 139-151). Springfield, Il: Charles C. Thomas ; 23. Edwards, W. (1972). N = 1. Diagnosis in unique cases. In J. A. Jacquez (Ed.) Computer diagnosis and diagnostic methods (pp. 139-151). Springfield, Il: Charles C. Thomas ; 24. Thornbury, J. R., Fryback, D. G., & Edwards, W. (1975). Likelihood ratios as a measure of the diagnostic usefulness of excretory urogram information. Radiology, 114, 561-565 ; 25. Shanteau, J., Edwards, W., & Weiss, D. J. (prepared for this volume). Diagnosis and treatment ; IV Papers on Multiattribute Utility ; 26. Gardiner, P.C., & Edwards, W. (1975). Public values: Multi-attribute utility measurement for social decision making. In M. F. Kaplan & S. Schwartz (Eds.), Human judgment and decision processes (pp. 1-37). New York: Academic Press ; 27. Edwards, W. (1977). How to use multiattribute utility measurement for social decision making. IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, & Cybernetics, 7, 326-340 ; 28. Edwards, W. (1979). Multiattribute utility measurement: Evaluating desegregation plans in a highly political context. In R. Perloff (Ed.), Evaluator interventions: Pros and cons (pp. 13-54). Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Edwards, W. (1980). Reflections on and criticisms of ahighly political multiattribute utility analysis. In L. Cobb & R. M. Thrall (Eds.), Mathematical frontiers of behavioral and policy sciences (pp.157-186). Boulder, CO: Westview Press ; 29. Stillwell, W.G., Barron, F. H., & Edwards, W. (1983). Evaluating credit applications: A validation of multiattribute utility weight elicitation techniques. Organizational Behavior & Human Decision Processes, 32, 87-108 ; 30. Edwards, W. & Barron, F. H. (1994). SMARTS and SMARTER: Improved simple methods for multiattribute utility measurement. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 60, 306-325 ; 31. Edwards, W., & Fasolo, B. (2001). Decision technology. Annual Review of Psychology, 52, 581-606 ; 32. Weiss, J. W., Edwards, W., & Mouttapa, M. (prepared for this volume). The puzzle of adolescent substance initiation ; 33. Weiss, J. W., Weiss, D. J., & Edwards, W. (prepared for this volume). Big decisions, little decisions: The hierarchy of everyday life ; 34. . Bauer, J., Spackman, S., & Edwards, W. (prepared for this volume). The clinical decision tree of oral health in geriatrics ; 35. . Weiss, D. J., Edwards, W., & Weiss, J. W. (prepared for this volume). Why is a bird in the hand worth two in the bush? ; V Obituaries ; 36. Dennis G. Fryback, Society for Medical Decision Making Newsletter, Summer 2005 ; 37. Lawrence D. Phillips, European Association for Decision Making Bulletin, Spring/Summer 2005 ; 38. David J. Weiss & James Shanteau, Society for Judgment/Decision Making Newsletter, March 2005show more

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