A4 Conference proceedings

What is your problem, decision maker? Do we even care anymore?

Open Access publication

Publication Details
Authors: Stoklasa Jan, Kozlova Mariia
Publication year: 2020
Language: English
Title of parent publication: KNOWCON 2020, Knowledge on Economics and Management, Conference Proceedings
Start page: 208
End page: 214
Number of pages: 7
ISBN: 978-80-244-5798-7
JUFO-Level of this publication: 0
Open Access: Open Access publication


This paper raises a very important, yet frequently unused, question concerning the nature of the decision-making problem. We point out that the actual definition of a multiple-criteria decision-making (MCDM) problem, when not clearly stated, could lead to erroneous suggestions provided by decision support models. To do so, we take the perspective of the (normative) multiple-criteria decision-making theory. We identify the prevailing definition of a problem in its framework and compare it to the definitions of problems and problem setups considered in behavioural economics. We compare some of the well-known decision biases and their suggested mechanisms with the definition of a problem for normative MCDM models and show the similarities and discrepancies thereof. We hypothesize that the very definition of a MCDM problem as assumed by standard MCDM theory might be the reason for the behavioural economics encountering so many decision biases and for the inability for MCDM models to provide valid normative results. The answer to the second question stated in the title is therefore at hand: “No, but we definitely should!” This is also the main message of the paper.

Last updated on 2021-16-03 at 12:47