# Decision field theory

Decision Field Theory (DFT), is a dynamic - cognitive approach to human decision making. It is a cognitive model that describes how people make decisions rather than a rational model that prescribes what people should do. It is also a dynamic model of decision making rather than a static model, because it describes how a person's preferences evolve across time until a decision is reached rather than assuming a fixed state of preference. The preference evolution process is mathematically represented as a stochastic process called a diffusion process. It is used to predict how humans make decisions under uncertainty, how decisions change under time pressure, and how choice context changes preferences. This model can be used to predict not only the choices that are made but also decision or response times. The Decision Field Theory (DFT) was published by Jerome R. Busemeyer and James T. Townsend in 1993.[1] The DFT has been shown to account for many puzzling findings regarding human choice behavior including violations of stochastic dominance, violations of strong stochastic transitivity, violations of independence between alternatives, serial position effects on preference, speed accuracy tradeoff effects, inverse relation between probability and decision time, changes in decisions under time pressure, as well as preference reversals between choices and prices. The DFT also offers a bridge to neuroscience. Recently, the authors of decision field theory also have begun exploring a new theoretical direction called Quantum Cognition.
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1 Decision Field Theory [2] 2 Decision Field Theory - Explaining Context Effects 3 DFT and Neuroscience [14] 4 References

Decision

Field Theory [2]

The name of decision field theory was chosen to reflect the fact that the inspiration for this theory comes from an earlier approach - avoidance conflict model contained in Kurt Lewin's general psychological theory, which he called field theory. DFT is a member of a general class of sequential sampling models that are commonly used in a variety of fields in cognition [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] .[9]The basic ideas underlying the decision process for sequential sampling models is illustrated in Figure 1 below. Suppose the decision maker is initially presented with a choice between three risky prospects, A, B, C, at time t = 0. The horizontal axis on the figure represents deliberation time (in seconds), and the vertical axis represents preference strength. Each trajectory in the figure represents the preference state for one of the risky prospects at each moment in time.