Anderson School of Management Theses & Dissertations

Publication Date



This study attempts to explore the possibilities of developing Bayesian decision theory as a descriptive behavioral model for depicting and predicting the general and basic rationality underlying managerial decision-making behavior under certain circumstances. A laboratory controlled experiment approach was employed for this study, In May of 1969, forty sophomores on the campus of the University of New Mexico were selected to serve as subjects. None of the subjects had knowledge of Bayesian statistical decision theory. Each subject was required to make Independent managerial decisions based on intuition. The experiment consisted essentially of two different types of experimental designs, one with qualitative variation and the other with quantitative variation of the experimental variables. The outcome of the experiment was very encouraging. No evidence was found to support the alternative hypotheses, either that the managerial decisions made by the subjects significantly differ from those which would be made by Bayesian decision-makers, or that variation of the experimental variables had effects on the subject’s managerial decision behavior. As a whole, all subjects behaved consistently in accordance with the Bayesian decision corm. Study along this line is promising and it deserves more attention and efforts.



Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Business Administration (MBA)

Level of Degree


Department Name

Anderson School of Management

First Committee Member

William S. Peters

Second Committee Member

Edwin H. Caplan

Third Committee Member

Howard V. Finston

Fourth Committee Member

Alfred L. Parker