Chapter

Rational Decision Making in Primates: The Bounded and the Ecological

Jeffrey R. Stevens

in Primate Neuroethology

Published in print January 2010 | ISBN: 9780195326598
Published online February 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199864904 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195326598.003.0006
Rational Decision Making in Primates: The Bounded and the Ecological

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This chapter reviews decision making behavior in primates. Evidence from both human and nonhuman primates demonstrates that decision makers often fail to behave as predicted by economic principles of rational utility maximization. Based on this evidence, it is argued that understanding decision making and its underlying mechanisms will be most successfully advanced by an evolutionarily informed framework termed “bounded and ecological rationality,” which emphasizes the match between decision mechanisms and the natural environment.

Keywords: behavior in primates; decision making; rational utility maximization; bounded rationality; ecological rationality

Chapter.  11639 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuropsychology

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