Warc Briefing: Decision Making

Definition: Decision making is the cognitive process of selecting a course of action from among alternatives. In communications circles, the study of decision making has facilitated the development of analytical models of how to influence consumer behaviour.

Quick facts

  • 70% of consumer decisions are made at the point of purchasei.
  • Use of the internet speeds up consumers' decision making abilityii.
  • Recent research has found that the type of flooring (carpet versus vinyl tiles) affects how consumers perceive products and therefore their decision makingiii.

History and future outlook

The study of consumer decision making can be traced back at least as far as 1738, when Daniel Bernoulli developed the first formal explanation of the process. It was later extended by von Neumann and Morgenstern, and called the Utility Theory.