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IPT: Decision-Making

posted Jun 3, 2009, 6:31 PM by Eddie Woo
Herbert Simon's model of decision-making has three stages: intelligence, design and choice. After the decision has been made, it must be implemented, evaluated and the decision-making process may begin again. When presented with a situation that requires a decision, humans carry out this process intuitively.

The catch is, however, that the process requires a degree of intelligence. Whilst computer-based systems excel at calculating power, intelligence is a far more sophisticated characteristic and much more difficult to program into an artificial system.

To give an example, the human eye and brain work together automatically and intelligently to compensate for environments of varying brightness. The pupil of our eye dilates in dark places and narrows in bright places to regulate the amount of light entering into the eye. But a tremendous amount of complex programming and specialised hardware is required to mimic this intelligent behaviour within a digital camera. Decision-making is a similar process - how do you teach a computer, which speaks only in 0s and 1s, to interpret and respond to a highly abstract real-world problem?

In a classwork post, identify the information processes that are most closely associated with each of the stages in Simon's model of decision-making and demonstrate why these are particularly relevant.

how the three-stage procedure might unfold in practical terms within the context of THREE of the following scenarios:
  1. Buying (a) an internet plan, (b) mobile phone, (c) new set of clothes or (d) other significant item (if you have another option, run it by Mr. Woo first)
  2. Organising a surprise birthday party for a friend
  3. Planning a holiday outing with friends
  4. Cooking a special meal for your family
  5. Choosing your units of study for years 11 & 12
  6. Seeking casual employment
  7. Running a school sports tournament