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Natural Logic

Exploring Decision and Intuition

Mauro Maldonato is a psychiatrist and Professor at the University of Basilicata, Italy. He was a visiting professor at many universities in Europe and North and South America. His research fields are cognitive neurosciences, with particular attention to decision making, consciousness and research on research.

Silvia Dell’Orco is a PhD Candidate at the University of Macerata. Her research is conducted in the field of psychology of reasoning and decision making and neuroeconomics. She is part of the Research Group at Duke University, and is the author of articles in scientific journals.

The goal of this book is to consider the importance of intuition and natural logic in decision making. In everyday life people frequently make judgments and take decisions without explicitly using all the relevant information available from the environment and from their memory. Moreover, even if people are aware of detail and circumstance, they do not necessarily analyze the information at their disposal on a deeper level, nor consider it in an explicit and logical way before making a decision. On the contrary, people often follow the very first response that comes to mind, which is usually an immediate feeling, a spontaneous idea, or a sudden emergence of a sense of “I know what to do” or … this is the best choice.” This intuitive, immediate response process typically takes place without any apparent effort; if questioned, people often cannot say why they responded in this fashion.

People tend to trust their intuition so frequently simply because they are successful with it; intuition seems to satisfy decision-making needs in many situations. In addition, there is scientific evidence that people’s intuition can outperform deliberate thinking processes under specific conditions. In Natural Logic, authors Mauro Maldonato and Silvia Dell’Orco address the integration of decision making across diverse fields – including economics, medicine and management. They consider the concepts of heuristics and biases through which the psychology of decision making has clarified how strategies, models and “cognitive shortcuts” to which people resort in assessing situations are exposed to frequent and substantive errors. Such analysis leads to a hypothesis of a “regularity of error”.

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-84519-484-0
Paperback Price: £15.95 / $22.95
Release Date: August 2011
Page Extent / Format: 112 pp. / 229 x 152 mm
Illustrated: Diagrams and figures


1. Understanding Decision Making
2. Economics versus Cognitive Sciences: Towards an Integrated Theory of Human Decision Making
3. Heuristics, biases and ecological Decision Making
4. Human Inferences Intuition as a Strategy of Natural Logic



Reviewed in Italian in Diàlogo Filosófico, Sept./Dec., 1992

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