For contemporary psychology, decision-making represents behaviours, which are very different from automatic responses. They are developed by implementing integrative cognitive functions adapted to the finalities sought and the situation to treat. Through the diversity of epistemological choices for instance, research in previous decades focused on the individual choices expressed by situations or contexts with a stable structure. The new problems of life in today’s society lead to making decisions on societal problems (climate, energy, etc.), which bring into play systems and no longer variables. This chapter has four aspects. After having characterised the decision-making process as a cognitive behaviour (1), having recalled the best known traditional models (those of Economics and Psychology) (2), this chapter deals with the properties of complex systems (globality, interactivity, dynamism, and scalability), which render decision-making difficult (3), and concludes with the necessity of a change of paradigm by pointing to paths to follow (4).
Part of the book: Decision Making