Behavioural decision theory for multi-criteria decision analysis: a guided tour

Alec Morton, Barbara Fasolo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

56 Citations (Scopus)


Multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) involves asking decision makers difficult questions, and can leave them thinking that their judgements are not as coherent as they might have thought. This experience can be distressing and may even lead to rejection of the analysis. The psychology of preference sheds light both on how people naturally make choices without decision analytic assistance, and on how people think about the MCDA elicitation questions. As such, it can help the analyst to respond helpfully to difficulties which decision makers may face. In this paper, we review research from Behavioural Decision Theory relevant to MCDA. Our review follows the MCDA process, discussing research relevant to the structuring, value elicitation, and weighting phases of the analysis, outlining relevant and important findings, and open questions for research and practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)268-275
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the Operational Research Society
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2009


  • behavioural decision theory
  • multi-criteria decision analysis
  • guided tour

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