The role of imagination in decision-making

Mind and Language 31 (1):126-142 (2016)

Authors
Bence Nanay
University of Antwerp
Abstract
The psychological mechanism of decision-making has traditionally been modeled with the help of belief-desire psychology: the agent has some desires (or other pro-attitudes) and some background beliefs and deciding between two possible actions is a matter of comparing the probability of the satisfaction of these desires given the background beliefs in the case of the performance of each action. There is a wealth of recent empirical findings about how we actually make decisions that seems to be in conflict with this picture. My aim is to outline an alternative model that is consistent with these empirical findings. This alternative model emphasizes the role imagination plays in our decisions: when we decide between two possible actions, we imagine ourselves in the situation that we imagine to be the outcome of these two actions and then compare these two imaginings.
Keywords imagination  order effect  belief-desire psychology  framing effect
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Reprint years 2016
DOI 10.1111/mila.12097
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References found in this work BETA

Action in Perception.Alva Noë - 2005 - MIT Press.
The Empirical Case for Two Systems of Reasoning.Steven A. Sloman - 1996 - Psychological Bulletin 119 (1):3-22.

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Citations of this work BETA

De Se Preferences and Empathy for Future Selves1.L. A. Paul - 2017 - Philosophical Perspectives 31 (1):7-39.
Interface Problems in the Explanation of Action.Daniel C. Burnston - 2017 - Philosophical Explorations 20 (2):242-258.
Parental Choices and the Prospect of Regret: An Alternative Account.Katrien Schaubroeck & Kristien Hens - 2017 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 25 (5):586-607.

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