Author Topic: On the nature of decision making  (Read 2006 times)

Offline Yuillegan

  • White Council
  • Posty McPostington
  • *****
  • Posts: 1319
  • Forum Moderator
    • View Profile
On the nature of decision making
« on: December 23, 2019, 04:55:09 AM »
For those who were involved in the discussion in the DF Spoilers section in the Peace Talks Update thread, let us continue here.

For those watching or wanting to come in I shall summarize.

We are debating how an intelligence (human or otherwise) makes a choice, and somewhat how an individual shops at the supermarket.

Do you require emotion? Can robots make choices? How do you choose what the best value for money is? Should it be the law that price compared to weight is available on the shelf label or should we all be able to do the math in our heads? What is a good value proposition? And so on.

Offline Dina

  • Has Collapsed Into a Singularity of Posts (a.k.a, "The Dina")
  • ***
  • Posts: 104918
    • View Profile
Re: On the nature of decision making
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2019, 05:20:34 AM »
tag
Missing you, Md 

There are many horrible sights in the multiverse. Somehow, though, to a soul attuned to the subtle rhythms of a library, there are few worse sights than a hole where a book ought to be. Someone has stolen a book (Terry Pratchett)

Offline morriswalters

  • Posty McPostington
  • ***
  • Posts: 2465
    • View Profile
Re: On the nature of decision making
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2019, 12:49:08 PM »
I would expect disagreement about Khaneman's conclusions.  If everybody agreed then what would be the point of continuing to look at the issue?  It doesn't make them either right or wrong, it signals questions yet to be answered.  And would somebody please explain the Kardashian's to me in this context, or the Iphone.

There is no point in asking the question about robots at this place in time.  No robot as yet has enough autonomy to make the kind of choices we are talking about.  And AI is so poorly defined as to be meaningless.

I would guess that Google's most advanced autonomous car would come close in terms of machines that can interoperate with us in the real world.  They do poorly at tasks that most drivers handle with aplomb.

Offline Dina

  • Has Collapsed Into a Singularity of Posts (a.k.a, "The Dina")
  • ***
  • Posts: 104918
    • View Profile
Re: On the nature of decision making
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2019, 03:20:28 PM »
Can you summarize Khaneman's conclusions here?

I would say that decision making for humans is a very diverse subject, as the things to decide are very diverse too. Evidently, it is not the same to decide if you are going to accept the doctors recommendations of a treatment or surgery that decide what book to read in a given day. But speaking about what to buy in the supermarket (what we were discussing) I repeat that sometimes we say that we are doing emotional choices but in really we are mixing a lot of rational decisions in our subconcious mind, that would involve not only price and quality (taste, softness, whatever) but durability, capacity to store the product at home, reduction of visits to supermarket, etc, etc. But I don't deny that sometimes you add to all that the fact that you like the packaging or the tv jingle.

Addendum about TV spots. I actively try to not buy products if their TV (or radio) spots are reproducing old fashioned, patriarchal behaviors.
Missing you, Md 

There are many horrible sights in the multiverse. Somehow, though, to a soul attuned to the subtle rhythms of a library, there are few worse sights than a hole where a book ought to be. Someone has stolen a book (Terry Pratchett)

Offline Bad Alias

  • Posty McPostington
  • ***
  • Posts: 2208
    • View Profile
Re: On the nature of decision making
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2019, 05:37:09 PM »
I don't think it's as simple as rational or emotional for a few reasons. The first being it's likely both most of the time. Second being there are other factors that are probably best described as "instinctual," like cognitive biases.

The rational vs. emotional argument has always seemed superficial to me. If you don't have an emotional reason behind your actions, would you even take actions? Ideally there would be an emotional desire/goal that is obtained through rational action. One problem is that we usually have multiple goals that are often divergent or contradictory. Another problem is that we often don't know what we really want.

Offline morriswalters

  • Posty McPostington
  • ***
  • Posts: 2465
    • View Profile
Re: On the nature of decision making
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2019, 09:59:21 PM »
@Dina

Rather than give you the Cliffs Notes version I'll point to the Wikipedia article.  It's thought provoking.

We buy things for many reasons but advertisers have known for some time that you will react a certain way give the right stimulus.  Vance Packard wrote a book about this type of thing in the 60's, called The Hidden Persuaders. The most obvious, and well known one, is the photo shopping of models to change their proportions.  Another one is deals with how you perceive fruit for instance. You come to see unblemished fruit as an ideal, so in the case of say tomatoes they use a curing agent to turn the tomato red even though it doesn't improve the taste.

@Bad Alias

Emotions are a cognitive heuristic.

Offline Dina

  • Has Collapsed Into a Singularity of Posts (a.k.a, "The Dina")
  • ***
  • Posts: 104918
    • View Profile
Re: On the nature of decision making
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2019, 01:23:03 AM »
Interesting. Thanks morris. I was aware of some of our biases but this book seems interesting.
Missing you, Md 

There are many horrible sights in the multiverse. Somehow, though, to a soul attuned to the subtle rhythms of a library, there are few worse sights than a hole where a book ought to be. Someone has stolen a book (Terry Pratchett)