The apparent effectivity of processing numerical values on computers combined with the impression of exactness of numerical information explains the prevalence of quantitative approaches to decision making. In two experiments on group-decision making it is shown that using qualitative expressions in communication leads to faster decision processes which - furthermore - take better care of the inherent complexity of the task.
Interpreting decision making as a specific form of problem solving, Toulmin's model of syllogistic reasoning is taken as a starting point for a model that integrates quantitative and qualitative as well as precise and fuzzy information in the generation of conclusions. The applicability of this model is demonstrated in two areas of marketing research, namely the modeling of interdependencies of market data and the optimization of price setting. A by-product of the latter example is the demonstration that apparently the relation between utility (defined as the propensity to buy) and value (defined as the price) is non-monotonic, a result which emphasizes the necessity for a qualitative approach to decision making.
Keywords: fuzzy numbers, group decision making, marketing research, problem solving, qualitative models, syllogistic reasoning
Short Title: Zimmer, A. (1997) PsyBeit 1-2:140Prof. Dr. Alf Zimmer
[Pabst Science Publishers] [Psychologische Beiträge] [Table of Contents] [Search] [Order]