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IMAGE

THEORY
Beach & Mitchell
1987

Noor Ahmed Brohi (PBS15141115

Introduction
To begin, image theory assumes that decision

makers use three different schematic


knowledge structures to organize their thinking
about decisions. These structures are called
images, in deference to Miller, Galanter, and
Pribram (1960), whose work inspired image
theory.
Image theory is an alternative to classical
decision theories that are based on subjective
expected utility, propounded by Lee Roy Beech
(Beach, 1990

Furthermore, traditional decision theory tends to

represent each decision as isolated and unique. This


is not how decisions are typically experienced
(except perhaps under lab conditions). Rather, they
are seen as part of a larger web of purpose, they
are seen as components of a larger scheme that is
dedicated to the achievement of some desired state
of affairs, with each component contributing a small
thrust in the appropriate direction (Beach, 1990).
Image theory thus attempts to construct a broad
and inclusive model of decision making as it is really
experienced.

Image Theory Images:


P The Strategic Image (bottom): Plans and

tactics for pursuing adopted goals to


successful outcomes. Involves anticipation
and short-term forecasting.
A The Value Image (top): Standards, ideals,
beliefs, morals, ethics and other principles
serve as imperatives or rigid guides that
establish decisions as right or wrong.
Principles generate goals and also govern the
adoption or rejection of candidate goals and
plans or tactics that violate the value image.

Image Theory Images:


E The Trajectory Image (middle): This is an

image of direction or directedness, created by


establishing both specific goals and abstract
goals, as well as by defining markers of
progress towards goals. Timely progression
towards desired outcomes is itself a goal
within the trajectory image.

Kinds of Decision
Adoption decisions
screening decisions
choice decisions

Progress decisions

Decision Tests
compatibility test
profitability test

Image Theory (Beach &


Mitchell, 1987)

Image theory (Falzer & Garman,


2012)
As this theory is newer, very little work has been done

on image theory in the area of management,


marketing, health etc.
Falzer & Garman (2012) conducted research using
Image theory in the area of clinical decision making.
He asked the question Does Image theory describes
how clinicians make patient-specific forecasts?
This study shows how specific patients respond
favorably to the recommended treatments.
This study also describes how possible course of
actions are pre-screened for the compatibility with the
standards and values.

Image Theory (Morrell, 2004)


Another study conducted based on image theory in

the area of Business Ethics. In this study, decision


making and business ethics were investigated and
how theory of Rational choice and Image theory
affect decision making process related with ethics.
In this study, propositions made to test the
consistency of RCT and Image theory with three
ethical systems: Utilitarian, Kantian and Virtue based
system.
This study shows that Image theory is consistent with
all three ethical systems whereas the results of RTC
varies.