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ERIC Number: ED307310
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Mar
Pages: 19
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Empirical Specification of Utility Functions.
Mellenbergh, Gideon J.
Decision theory can be applied to four types of decision situations in education and psychology: (1) selection; (2) placement; (3) classification; and (4) mastery. For the application of the theory, a utility function must be specified. Usually the utility function is chosen on a priori grounds. In this paper methods for the empirical assessment of utility functions by decision makers are discussed and methods for the analysis of the data are described. These methods are of two types: methods for the analysis of a subject's utility structure, and methods for investigating the type of utility functions. The procedures are illustrated using an example from selection and one from classification. In the example from selection, data from four psychologists and six judges selecting and evaluating applicants for training were analyzed for 10 subjects. In the example from classification, data from 28 subjects with four recommendations each were used. It is concluded that decision makers can specify their own utility functions and that decision theory can be applied to practical situations in education and psychology. Eight figures and two tables provide the illustrative data. (Author/SLD)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A