Decision field theory: a dynamic-cognitive approach to decision making in an uncertain environment

Psychol Rev. 1993 Jul;100(3):432-59. doi: 10.1037/0033-295x.100.3.432.


Decision field theory provides for a mathematical foundation leading to a dynamic, stochastic theory of decision behavior in an uncertain environment. This theory is used to explain (a) violations of stochastic dominance, (b) violations of strong stochastic transitivity, (c) violations of independence between alternatives, (d) serial position effects on preference, (e) speed-accuracy trade-off effects in decision making, (f) the inverse relation between choice probability and decision time, (g) changes in the direction of preference under time pressure, (h) slower decision times for avoidance as compared with approach conflicts, and (i) preference reversals between choice and selling price measures of preference. The proposed theory is compared with 4 other theories of decision making under uncertainty.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Decision Making*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Stochastic Processes