The fourth edition retains many of the features of the first three editions:
1. Knowledge about judgment and decision making has been scattered among a number of different fields. Philosophers, psychologists, educators, economists, decision scientists, and computer scientists have different approaches to the theory. The approach in this book represents my own effort to draw together some of the key ideas from these different disciplines. Much of what I present is not original or new. If it were either of these, I would not be so confident that it is basically correct.
2. I retain the idea that all goal-directed thinking and decision making can be described in terms of what I call the search-inference framework: Thinking can be described as inferences made from possibilities, evidence, and goals that are discovered through searching.
3. I also argue that one main problem with our thinking and decision making is that much of it suffers from a lack of active open-mindedness: We ignore possibilities, evidence, and goals that we ought to consider, and we make inferences in ways that protect our favored ideas.
In the course of this book, I apply these ideas to the major concepts and theories in the study of thinking. I begin, in Part I, with general considerations: the nature of rationality; methods for studying thinking; and logic.