The paper "Rational Decision Making Models and What People Actually Do" is a great example of marketing coursework. Researchers have investigated decision making processes for many years now. This study has continued to evolve with contributions that span several disciplines for more than 300year. Contributions towards this research have included the provision of mathematical backgrounds in the field of economics, as well as other fields like finance and medicine. Consequently, decision making theories and models have embodied a wide range of concepts which exert a considerable level of influence on cognitive, biological and social sciences (Doyle & Thomason, 1999).
There is an increasing concern, however, about whether or not these models influence the actual decision making process of individuals and what they do during the decision making process. This paper mainly focuses on decision making by investigating literature material and attempting to find the link between the decision making models and what people actually do. Rational decision making According to Eisenfuhr (2011), decision making involves making a choice from possible alternatives so as to realise the desired result. That is, the decision will be seen to be more rational if the process that leads to it is based on insight into the consequences of alternatives so that the final selection relies upon the logic of choosing the option that is expected to best achieve the goals and objectives of the decision-maker (Kø rnø v & Thissen, 2000).
The decision making process, therefore, is influenced by the number of options available as well as the desired result. Normative and descriptive decision making theories propose specific characteristics and follow particular methodologies that should lead the decision maker towards the selection of a course of action.
Normative theories, also known as rational theories, are based upon fundamental axioms. If the decision maker accepts the established principles, then they can derive a normative theory of choice. In descriptive theories, however, greater stress is laid upon the significance of psychological elements that influence decision making (Oliveira, 2007). Consumer decision making models have provided broad structures that are organized to reveal the fundamental processes followed during the decision making from particular viewpoints and specific instances (Walters 1978). The decision making models have been put to use in structuring and interpretation of research in consumer purchase behaviour.
This, therefore, means that the approach of the research during the implementation of a particular model takes into account certain assumptions. As will be demonstrated later in the paper, generalising such decision making models for a random product directly implies that the process of arriving at the decision is biased from the very beginning. Rational decision making models hold that decision making involves an analysis of a series of available options from different scenarios before a particular choice is selected.
The decision maker then weighs these scenarios by means of probabilities then determines the expected scenario for all the alternatives. The choice that should be selected is that one which will present the best scenario among all the alternatives. During normative decision making processes, decision makers apply specific sets of alternatives to find solutions to their problems. According to Schoenfeld (2011), the decision making process is broken down into six steps during rational decision making:
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