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What Is Simons' Framework For Decision Making?

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Herbert Simon's framework for decision making is to split the process of making a decision into three stages. The first stage consists of the decider identifying the decision that must be made. It involves the gathering of intelligence that is needed to recognize a decision must be imminent. The second stage of the decision making process identifies the possible courses of action available to the individual. The decider must consider the consequences of each course of action. The final stage of Simon's framework involves the making of the decision. Here, the rational decider makes the decision, selecting the course of action that provides the best relative consequences. Of course, what one considers the 'best' course of action to be will be subjective, which is why people make different decisions.

• Other points of Simon's framework for decision making

The framework assumes the decider in question is rational, and will therefore select the course of action that offers the most attractive set of consequences. They will seek to pursue their own objectives (although these may take into account the objectives of others; it is not assumed the individual is selfish). In addition, the framework assumes the decider has imperfect knowledge. This must be the case, or the second stage of the process would not be necessary (in fact, the process would barely be necessary at all, or the individual would already know how to best approach every decision). Finally, it assumes the individual decider considers only the most immediate consequences of their actions. They do not look too far into what could possibly happen should they do a particular thing. For instance, if a person decided to buy an ice cream, they may have done so because the pleasure gained from the ice cream outweighs the cost of it. They will not have factored in the possibility of getting a brain freeze from the ice cream, or the benefits the ice cream seller gains from them buying the ice cream.

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