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Decisions with Multiple Objectives: Preferences and Value Tradeoffs Paperback – July 1, 1993

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Editorial Reviews


'This book is a welcome and unquestionably significant contribution to the practice of decision analysis as well as to the research and teaching of its theory and application.' IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics 'A highly recommended selection by two distinguished leaders in the field ...' Journal of the American Statistical Association 'What the authors have done is, I believe, precisely what they set out to do, and they do it very well indeed. Their primary goal was to redress the neglect of the general problem of utility assessment in complex decision situations that are formulated in the (subjective) expected utility or decision analysis mode, and to illustrate the usefulness of their approach across a broad spectrum of important decision problems. The mathematical developments that are included are there because they can be used to help people think about their preferences in complex situations and to assess their utility functions - if it comes to that - and not because they are pretty mathematics. The broad experience that Keeney and Raiffa have in applying the procedures they present in Decisions adds significantly both to the value of the book and to the conviction behind it.' Choice

Book Description

This book describes how a confused decision maker, who wishes to make a reasonable and responsible choice among alternatives, can systematically probe their thoughts and feelings in order to make the critically important trade-offs between incommensurable objectives.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (July 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521438837
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521438834
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.3 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,046,108 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Danny Chow on March 16, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is a very good book grounded in solid microeconomic theory foundations. It starts with classical micro theory such as preferences and axioms, and it moves on to risky preferences and methods on how to retrieve them by constructing careful experiments. It also discusses the limitations on preference retrieval by such axiomatic methods due to the heuristics and biases that occur in decision making behaviour. However, this book is also useful for non-economists, as it describes decision making theories and applied methods on how to retrieve preferences in fields such as policy and medical sciences. The book's target market is mostly economics/ decision sciences graduate students or those who have achieved a comparable or higher level of their studies/work experience. It has also very instructive real world examples of PhD students running preference retrieval experiments and reporting their results. Good book for those keen on the subject. The 1976 version of the book has won a book prize, hence the assurance of quality. Furthermore, Raiffa is a well established Harvard academic, which further lends credence to the book.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Waisberg on December 14, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is a very good foundation of MCDA (Multi Criteria Decision Analysis) with all the mathematical proofs behind the theory. The authors give real life examples on the application of their model and explain the intuition of their methodology.

Although the math is a bit advanced, the authors explain step-by-step all the terminology, what makes the theory easily understandable. I have used it as a reference in a course of my M.Sc. in Operations Research and Decisions, but I believe undergraduates can understand it (not without sweating a few drops).

Personally, I believe that Keeney's book "Value Focused thinking" is more intuitive and day-to-day oriented, but the bulk of the theory is presented in this earlier book. So if you like math and economics, you should try this book first.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Basis Trader on August 5, 2011
Format: Paperback
I've read through this book several times and it's one of those you just keep going back to. I first had practical experience with it applying some of the techniques of value and preference capture to support a software system being built. I've since used it in grain purchasing and merchandising and elevator design where values and tradeoffs among mutiple performance factors are important. I would personally recommend it for anyone climbing the corporate ladder. It just makes your thinking better and more organized and it's great for defending your own rationality in the face of pressure to conform and to organize muddle-headed group think.
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