The Biology of Decision Making

Decisions are made by people. They may be made collectively through elaborate social mechanisms, such as national legislatures, economic markets, and international organizations. They may be made by teams of coworkers, family members, corporate boards, and other collective bodies operating cooperatively, or contrariwise, they may be the outcome of conflict. They may be made by individuals operating alone with no input from others. But ultimately the origin of all decisions, whether collective or individual, traces back to what’s going on inside people’s heads.

This chapter and the next peek into people’s heads to see how they arrive at decisions. I have titled this chapter “The Biology of Decision Making.” It ...

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