Evaluating The Options On A Scale Of Utility

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Introduction Myriad decisions affront us every day. Each decision is decomposable into sub-decisions. For instance, consider the mental turmoil (or apathy) required to determine whether you shall go grocery shopping. First, you determine an initial need for grocery shopping (i.e., you are out of milk, eggs, etc.). Next, you consider what you would rather do--an evaluation of utility. This cost-benefit analysis continues until shopping or staying is perceived with marginally greater utility. Though these calculations require a second or so in your mind, in decomposing this choice, one finds a series of individual decisions contributing to the final. These sub-decisions may “How much is milk worth my going to the store?” or “How much does this television show dissuade me from going to the store?” However, one can go deeper still. In answering each of the above sub-questions, you subconsciously evaluate the options on a scale of utility. Consider this concept though: for any arbitrarily selected value on that scale, you must subconsciously “decide” if the value is satisfactory—a boolean decision (see Fig. 1). Additionally, all but the lowest layer of sub-decisions are considerable as independent decisions in different contexts. Accordingly, these decisions are likewise decomposable to final boolean decisions, assuming all high level “decisions” are decomposable. Also note these boolean decisions are never consciously considered in first order as that requires additional levels
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