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Psychol Rev. 2001 Apr;108(2):370-92.

Multialternative decision field theory: a dynamic connectionist model of decision making.

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Department of Psychology, Indiana University Bloomington, 1101 East 10th Street, Bloomington, Indiana 47405-7007, USA.


The authors interpret decision field theory (J. R. Busemeyer & J. T. Townsend, 1993) as a connectionist network and extend it to accommodate multialternative preferential choice situations. This article shows that the classic weighted additive utility model (see R. L. Keeney & H. Raiffa, 1976) and the classic Thurstone preferential choice model (see L. L. Thurstone, 1959) are special cases of this new multialternative decision field theory (MDFT), which also can emulate the search process of the popular elimination by aspects (EBA) model (see A. Tversky, 1969). The new theory is unique in its ability to explain several central empirical results found in the multialternative preference literature with a common set of principles. These empirical results include the similarity effect, the attraction effect, and the compromise effect, and the complex interactions among these three effects. The dynamic nature of the model also implies strong testable predictions concerning the moderating effect of time pressure on these three effects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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