Rational and irrational processes in decision making: An economic perspective

An economic perspective

  • Maria Liana Lacatus
Keywords: Decision; rational decision; decision making process; bounded rationality


The paper presents important issues of decision making processes with an emphasis on rational and irrational components of these processes. After a short introduction outlining the need for a deeper understanding of rational and non-rational factors that affect the decisions people make, the rationality of people decisions in daily life is questioned and the role of non-rational factors such as intuition are analyzed. The economic understanding of the decision making process is presented and principles of rational decision-making are explained. Different methods used and recommended by economists in order to make decisions are presented and applied in different life situations in order to demonstrate their value in daily life. Special emphasis is put on factors such as imperfect information, illusion of control, or risk aversion that may affect the rationality of the decision making processes. In the final section of the paper the concept of bounded rationality is introduced and explained along with new theories in economics that are challenging the classic economic perspective on the decision making process