Structuring Decision Complications for Decision Analysis

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Building Decision Problems for Decision


Detlof von Winterfeldt

University of Southern California, [email protected] edu

Adhere to this and additional works at: Recommended Citation

von Winterfeldt, Detlof, " Structuring Decision Complications for Decision Analysis" (1980). Published Articles & Papers. Paper 35.

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Acta Psychologica 45 (1980) 71-93

zero North-Holland Publishing Company



Detlof vonseiten WINTERFELDT **

University of Southern

Cal, Los Angeles, LOS ANGELES 90007,


Structuring decision problems in a formally suitable and workable format is just about the most important stage of decision analysis. Seeing that presently simply no sound methodology for structuring exists, this step is still a form of art left for the intuition and craftsmanship individuals analyst. Following introducing a general concept of structuring, this daily news reviews several recent advances in structuring research. Such as taxonomies pertaining to problem id and new tools just like influence layouts and interpretative structural building. Two a conclusion emerge from this kind of review: structuring research is nonetheless limited to a couple of hierarchical concepts and this tends to dismiss substantive difficulty aspects that delineate a problem it it is real world framework. Consequently structuring research has very little to say about distinctions between normal problem classes such as regulation, siting, or perhaps budget share.

As an alternative the idea of " prototypical decision discursive structures” is definitely introduced. This kind of structures happen to be developed to fulfill the hypostatic characteristics of the specific issue (e. g., siting a specific Liquid Gas plant) but they are at the same time basic enough to apply to difficulties (industrial service siting). As an illustration, the development of a prototypical inductive structure pertaining to environmental normal setting is definitely described. Finally, some common problem is examined and several requirements for prototypical set ups are discussed.

An introduction to problem structuring

Decision research can be broken into four measures: structuring the problem; formulating inference and inclination models; eliciting probabilities and utilities; and exploring the numerical model benefits. Prac* This kind of research was supported by a grant through the Department of Defense and was monitored by the Executive Psychology Programs of the Business office of Nautico Research, below contract # NOOO14-79C-0529. Whilst writing this paper, the writer discussed the condition of building extensively with Helmut Jungermann. The present variation owes much to his thought. Please don't take footnote 3 also seriously. It can be part of a footnote conflict between Ralph Keeney and me. ** Presently with all the Social Scientific research Research Commence, University of Southern California, College or university Park, Los Angeles, CA 90007, (213) 741-6955.


M. von Winterfeldt /Structuring

decision problems

titioners of decision analysis generally agree that structuring is the central and difficult step of the analysis. Yet, right up until recently, decision analytic research has all but disregarded structuring, paying attention instead

upon questions of modeling and elicitation. Consequently, structuring was, and to some extent still is, considered as the ‘art' part of decision analysis. This conventional paper examines several attempts to turn this art into a research. Trees would be the most common decision analytic structures. Decision woods, for example , symbolize

the sequential

aspects of a conclusion

problem (see Raiffa 1968; Brown...

Recommendations: Brown, Ur. V. and J. T. Ulvila, 1977. Selecting discursive approaches pertaining to decision situations.

Brown, 3rd there’s r. V., A. S. Kahr and C. Peterson, 1974. Decision research for the manager. Ny:

Holt, Rinehart, and Winston.

Edwards, W., M. Guttentag and E. Snapper, 1976. A decision-theoretic approach to analysis


Fischer, D. T. and D. von Winterfeldt, 1978. Placing standards intended for chronic petrol discharges inside the

North Sea

Hogarth, Ur. M., C. Michaud and J. -L. Mery, 1980. Decision tendencies in metropolitan development: a

methodological procedure and hypostatic considerations

Hiipfmger, E. and R. Avenhaus, 1978. A casino game theoretic framework for. powerful standard

setting procedures

Howell, W. C. and T. A. Burnett, 1978. Doubt measurement: a cognitrve taxonomy. Organizational Patterns and Individual Performance twenty two, 45-68.

Humphreys, P. C., 1980. Decision aids: assisting decisions. In: L. Sjoberg, T. Tyszka and L. A. Sensible

(eds), Decision analyses and decision operations, 1

Humphreys, P. C. and A. R. Humphreys, 1975. An investigation of very subjective preference

orderings for multiattributed alternatives

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MacCrimmon, T. R., 1973. An overview of multiple standards decision making. In: J. T. Cochrane

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Miller, AC., M. T. Merkhofer, L. A. Howard, J. E. Matheson and T. L. Rice, 1976. Development

of automated aids for decision analysis

Raiffa, H., 1968. Decision research. Reading, MUM: Addison-Wesley.

Sage, A., 1977. Methodology intended for large scale systems. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Taylor, 3rd there’s r. C., mid 1970s. Nature of problem ill-structuredness: implications pertaining to problem formula and option. Decision Sciences 5, 632-643.

Vlek, C. and W. A. Wagenaar, 1979. Common sense and decision under doubt. In: M. A. Michon,

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Warfield, J., 1974. Building complex systems. Batelle Funeral service Institute Monograph, no . 5.

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Winterfeldt, G. von and D. W. Fischer, 1975. Multiattribute electricity: models and scaling types of procedures. In: D. Wendt and C. Vlek (eds. ), Utility, possibility, and human decision making.

Winterfeldt, D. vonseiten, R. Avenhaus, W. Htiele and At the. Hopfmger, 1978. Procedures for the business of specifications. IIASA-AR-78-A, M, C. Worldwide Institute for Applied Systems

Analysis, Laxenburg, Austria.

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