rational choice

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See March, 1994, pp 2-3. A rational procedure is one that pursues a logic of consequences. It makes a choice conditional on the answers to four basic questions:

  1. The question of alternatives: What actions are possible?
  2. The question of expectations: What future consequences might follow from each alternative? How likely is each possible consequence, assuming that alternative is chosen?
  3. The question of preferences: How valuable (to the decision maker) are the consequences associated with each of the alternative?
  4. The question of the decision rule: How is a choice to be made among the alternatives in terms of the values of their consequences?

A rational framework is endemic to theories of human behavior.

Contrast with decision making as rule following.