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Causal ModelsHow People Think about the World and Its Alternatives$
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Steven Sloman

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195183115

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195183115.001.0001

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 Decision Making via Causal Consequences

 Decision Making via Causal Consequences

(p.83) 7 Decision Making via Causal Consequences
Causal Models

Steven Sloman

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses how we make decisions. Topics covered include the gambling metaphor, Newcomb's paradox, and people's concern about causal structure. It is argued that in general, both normative thinking and naïve thinking about decisions always depend on a causal model of the decision situation. However, that causal model does not always dictate what people decide. Sometimes people make decisions that reflect how they want the world to be, rather than according to their understanding of how the world actually works. This fact about people is itself a causal mechanism governing one way in which people influence their environments. Behaving as one wants the world to be can make it more likely that the world will actually turn out that way.

Keywords:   decisions, gambling metaphor, Newcomb's paradox, causal structure, normative thinking, naïve thinking

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