Sample flowchart representing a decision process to add a new article to Wikipedia.
Sample flowchart representing a decision process when confronted with a lamp that fails to light.

Regarded as the cognitive process resulting in the selection of a belief or a course of action among several possible alternative options.

- Decision-making

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Multiple-criteria decision analysis

Plot of two criteria when maximizing return and minimizing risk in financial portfolios (Pareto-optimal points in red dots)
Figure 1. Demonstration of the decision space
Figure 2. Demonstration of the solutions in the criterion space
Figure 3. Projecting points onto the nondominated set with an Achievement Scalarizing Function

Multiple-criteria decision-making (MCDM) or multiple-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) is a sub-discipline of operations research that explicitly evaluates multiple conflicting criteria in decision making (both in daily life and in settings such as business, government and medicine).

Anterior cingulate cortex

Frontal part of the cingulate cortex that resembles a "collar" surrounding the frontal part of the corpus callosum.

Medial surface of left cerebral hemisphere, with anterior cingulate highlighted
Sagittal MRI slice with highlighting indicating location of the anterior cingulate cortex
Anterior cingulate gyrus of left cerebral hemisphere, shown in red
Medial surface of human cerebral cortex - gyri
Anterior Cingulate Cortex of monkey (Macaca mulatta).
Caudal Anterior Cingulate gyrus
Rostral Anterior Cingulate gyrus

It is involved in certain higher-level functions, such as attention allocation, reward anticipation, decision-making, ethics and morality, impulse control (e.g. performance monitoring and error detection), and emotion.

Orbitofrontal cortex

Approximate location of the OFC shown on a sagittal MRI
Orbital gyrus shown in red.
Medial surface of cerebral cortex - gyri
Basal surface of cerebrum. Orbital gyrus shown in red.
Lateral orbitofrontal cortex
Medial orbitofrontal cortex, inner slice view.
thumb|3D visualization of the orbitofrontal cortex in an average human brain
thumb|Orbitofrontal cortex highlighted in green on coronal T1 MRI images
thumb|Orbitofrontal cortex highlighted in green on sagittal T1 MRI images
thumb|Orbitofrontal cortex highlighted in green on transversal T1 MRI images

The orbitofrontal cortex (OFC) is a prefrontal cortex region in the frontal lobes of the brain which is involved in the cognitive process of decision-making.


In Switzerland, without the need to register, every citizen receives at home the ballot papers and information brochure for each voting (and can send it by post). Switzerland has a direct democracy system and votes (and elections) are organized about four times a year; here, to Berne's citizen in November 2008 about 5 national, 2 cantonal, 4 municipal referendums, and 2 elections (government and parliament of the City of Berne) to take care of at the same time.
Young woman's first vote. Cooktown, Australia.

Voting is a method for a group, such as a meeting or an electorate, in order to make a collective decision or express an opinion usually following discussions, debates or election campaigns.

Volition (psychology)

A cognitive model, as illustrated by Robert Fludd (1619)

Volition or will is the cognitive process by which an individual decides on and commits to a particular course of action.


Process of thinking regarding the activities required to achieve a desired goal.

The Striatum; part of the basal ganglia; neural pathways between the striatum and the frontal lobe have been implicated in planning function.
Animation of a four disc version of the Tower of Hanoi.
Screenshot of the PEBL psychology software running the Tower of London test
Example of planning process framework.
If you've got no plan nothing can go wrong. Sign Tangentyere Council, Alice Springs

It is a process that involves making and evaluating each set of interrelated decisions.


Cognition refers to "the mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses".

A cognitive model, as illustrated by Robert Fludd (1619)
When the mind makes a generalization such as the concept of tree, it extracts similarities from numerous examples; the simplification enables higher-level thinking (abstract thinking).

It encompasses all aspects of intellectual functions and processes such as: perception, attention, thought, intelligence, the formation of knowledge, memory and working memory, judgment and evaluation, reasoning and computation, problem solving and decision making, comprehension and production of language.


Technical term usually used in relation to choosing between alternatives.

An example of transitive and complete preferences.

In psychology, preferences refer to an individual's attitude towards a set of objects, typically reflected in an explicit decision-making process (Lichtenstein & Slovic, 2006).


Asystematic determination of a subject's merit, worth and significance, using criteria governed by a set of standards.

Open systems have input and output flows, representing exchanges of matter, energy or information with their surroundings.

It can assist an organization, program, design, project or any other intervention or initiative to assess any aim, realisable concept/proposal, or any alternative, to help in decision-making; or to ascertain the degree of achievement or value in regard to the aim and objectives and results of any such action that has been completed.

Decision support system

Example of a decision support system for John Day Reservoir.
Design of a drought mitigation decision support system

A decision support system (DSS) is an information system that supports business or organizational decision-making activities.