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A decision is a commitment to a course of action that is intended to serve the interests and values of particular people, which often differ sharply from one person to the next. A good example is a patient's choice of radical mastectomy over lumpectomy as a treatment for breast cancer, where the patient seeks to do what is best for both herself and her family, especially her young children. There is considerable variability in not only what different people (and even the same person on different occasions) decide when facing the same dilemmas, but also in how they decide. The term decision modes is used to characterize such qualitatively distinct means by which people reach their decisions. This entry describes and reviews several of the ...

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