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  Previous issue (2007. Vol. 4, no. 4)

Psychology

Publisher: National Research University Higher School of Economics

ISSN: 1813-8918

Started in 2005

Published quarterly

 

Intransitive Character of Superiority Relations and Decision-making

Poddyakov A.N.
PhD in Psychology, Professor, Faculty of Psychology, Department of General and Experimental Psychology, ,, State University — Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia
e-mail: alpod@gol.ru

Abstract
The article offers an interdisciplinary study of transitive/intransitive character of superiority relations: A is superior (inferior) to B, B is superior (inferior) to C, A is superior (inferior) to C. The author argues that the transitivity principle is not universal. In many subject areas, and with the help of various methods, it is shown that the transitivity axiom withstands only if there is no interaction between the objects under comparison, and that it fails in more complex cases. The author suggests that in such cases a different argumentative basis is needed. He introduces four situation types relating to a) the objective character of transitivity/intransitivity relations; b) their subjective evaluation by a person. He concludes by examining the consequences of decision-making, including erroneous decisions made on the assumption of the principle of transitive relations.

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