What Makes a Good Decision? Robust Satisficing as a Normative Standard of Rational Decision Making

Most decisions in life involve ambiguity, where probabilities can not be meaningfully specified, as much as they involve probabilistic uncertainty. In such conditions, the aspiration to utility maximization may be self-deceptive. We propose “robust satisficing” as an alternative to utility maximizing as the normative standard for rational decision making in such circumstances. Instead of seeking to maximize the expected value, or utility, of a decision outcome, robust satisficing aims to maximize the robustness to uncertainty of a satisfactory outcome. That is, robust satisficing asks, “what is a ‘good enough’ outcome,” and then seeks the option that will produce such an outcome under the widest set of circumstances. We explore the conditions under which robust satisficing is a more appropriate norm for decision making than utility maximizing
Keywords utility maximizing  radical uncertainty  probabilistic uncertainty  psychological satisficing  robust satisficing
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.1468-5914.2010.00450.x
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 15,831
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Patricia Greenspan (2009). Resting Content: Sensible Satisficing? American Philosophical Quarterly 46 (4):305 - 317.
Edmund Henden (2007). Is Genuine Satisficing Rational? Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 10 (4):339 - 352.
Richard M. Shiffrin (2003). Locally Rational Decision-Making. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26 (2):175-175.
Tim Mulgan (2001). How Satisficers Get Away with Murder. International Journal of Philosophical Studies 9 (1):41 – 46.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

30 ( #103,674 of 1,724,750 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

4 ( #167,193 of 1,724,750 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.