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Choice Theory: A Very Short Introduction


Michael Allingham

22 August 2002

ISBN: 9780192803030

144 pages

In Stock

Very Short Introductions

Price: £8.99


This book explores what it means to be rational in a variety of contexts, from personal decisions to those affecting large groups of people. It introduces ideas from economics, philosophy, and other areas, showing how the theory applies to particular situations such as gambling and the allocation of resources.

  • Lively and thought provoking book about the theory behind making decisions
  • Explores what it means to be rational, and what kind of criteria are we applying when we say that a choice is rational
  • Examines what it means to choose rationally in various settings: who to spend the rest of your life with, whether to undergo an operation if you are told that the mortality rate is 25 per cent, and whether to travel by air in the face of terrorist threats
  • Examines what strategies should be applied in making decisions which affect lots of people, including ways of electing politicians. Should a country develop a nuclear capability when it knows that others face the same choice? What are the relative advantages of 'first past the post' and proportional representation in elections?

About the Author(s)

Michael Allingham, Fellow and Senior Tutor at Magdalen College, Oxford

Table of Contents

    1:Choice and desire
    2:Reason and rationality
    3:Racing and roulette
    4:Gambling and insurance
    5:Conflict and cooperation
    6:Democracy and Dictatorship


a spirited and efficient welcome for newcomers should brighten many minds already much immersed - make them newcomers again. - Sydney Afriat, University of Siena