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Cognition. 1993 Oct-Nov;49(1-2):11-36.

Reason-based choice.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Princeton University, NJ 08544.


This paper considers the role of reasons and arguments in the making of decisions. It is proposed that, when faced with the need to choose, decision makers often seek and construct reasons in order to resolve the conflict and justify their choice, to themselves and to others. Experiments that explore and manipulate the role of reasons are reviewed, and other decision studies are interpreted from this perspective. The role of reasons in decision making is considered as it relates to uncertainty, conflict, context effects, and normative decision rules.

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