In a paper of 1,250-1,500 words, compare compensatory and no…

In a paper of 1,250-1,500 words, compare compensatory and noncompensatory models as discussed in Chapter 14 of . Describe how a strategy is selected for use. Purchase the answer to view it

Comparing Compensatory and Noncompensatory Models for Decision-Making


Decision-making is a complex process that individuals and organizations use to select the best course of action from a number of alternatives. In many decision-making situations, individuals need to evaluate multiple options on various criteria. Two common models used to aid decision-making are the compensatory model and the noncompensatory model. Understanding the differences between these models and the factors that influence the selection of a strategy can greatly improve decision-making outcomes. This paper will compare compensatory and noncompensatory models, discuss the selection process for using each model, and provide examples to illustrate their application.

Compensatory Models

Compensatory models assume that decision-makers are able to consider the trade-offs between different criteria and that a high score on one criterion can compensate for a low score on another criterion (Wu & Lee, 2017). One widely used compensatory model is the multi-attribute utility theory (MAUT), which incorporates the weights of each criterion and the performance of each alternative on every criterion (Mendoza, 2018). MAUT aggregates the scores across all criteria to calculate an overall utility score for each alternative, which allows decision-makers to compare and rank the alternatives.

The advantages of compensatory models are their ability to capture the complexity of decision-making by considering multiple criteria and their flexibility in weighing the importance of each criterion. This allows decision-makers to make trade-offs and select alternatives that meet their goals and preferences (Saaty, 1987). However, compensatory models assume that decision-makers possess complete information and cognitive ability to process all criteria simultaneously (Kahneman & Tversky, 1979). In reality, decision-makers may not have the time, information, or mental capacity to evaluate all criteria in a compensatory manner.

Noncompensatory Models

Noncompensatory models, on the other hand, do not allow for trade-offs between criteria, meaning that a low score on one criterion cannot be compensated for by a high score on another criterion (Simonson & Tversky, 1992). Instead, noncompensatory models involve setting minimum thresholds for each criterion and excluding alternatives that do not meet those thresholds. The most well-known noncompensatory model is the lexicographic model, which involves selecting the alternative that is the best on the most important criterion, regardless of its performance on the other criteria (Tversky, Sattath, & Slovic, 1988).

Noncompensatory models offer simplicity and ease of use, as decision-makers only need to evaluate each alternative on one criterion at a time. This reduces the cognitive load and information processing requirements, making noncompensatory models ideal in situations where decision-makers have limited time or resources (Hutcherson, Montague, & Rangel, 2012). However, noncompensatory models may lead to suboptimal decisions if the most important criterion does not adequately capture the overall desirability of the alternatives or if important trade-offs are ignored (Kahneman & Tversky, 1979).

Selection Process for Using Each Model

The selection of a decision-making strategy depends on a variety of factors, including the decision-maker’s preferences, the complexity of the decision, and the available resources. Choosing between compensatory and noncompensatory models requires an assessment of these factors to determine the most appropriate approach.

The decision-maker’s preferences play a crucial role in the selection process. If the decision-maker values the ability to make trade-offs and considers the overall utility of the alternatives on multiple criteria, a compensatory model like MAUT would be suitable. On the other hand, if the decision-maker prefers simplicity and wants to focus on one key criterion, a noncompensatory model like the lexicographic model may be more appropriate.

The complexity of the decision is another important factor to consider. Compensatory models are better suited for complex decisions that involve a large number of criteria and alternatives, as they provide a systematic and comprehensive approach to evaluate and compare all options. Noncompensatory models, on the other hand, are more suitable for simple decisions that involve a few criteria and alternatives, as they simplify the decision-making process and reduce cognitive load.

Resources also play a role in the selection process. Compensatory models require more information and analytical capabilities to evaluate all criteria and alternatives. If the decision-maker has limited information or lacks the necessary resources to perform a comprehensive evaluation, a noncompensatory model may be the better choice.

Example Applications

To illustrate the application of compensatory and noncompensatory models, consider two decision scenarios: selecting a college and buying a car. In the college selection scenario, a high school student might use a compensatory model to evaluate colleges based on criteria such as academic reputation, location, cost, and extracurricular activities. The student would weigh the importance of each criterion and consider the overall utility of each college to make a decision. On the other hand, in the car buying scenario, a buyer may use a noncompensatory model to narrow down the options by setting minimum thresholds for criteria such as price, fuel efficiency, and safety ratings. The buyer would exclude cars that do not meet these minimum thresholds and then make a final decision based on other preferences, such as brand or design.


In conclusion, compensatory and noncompensatory models are two different approaches to decision-making that offer distinct advantages and disadvantages. Compensatory models allow for trade-offs between criteria and provide a comprehensive evaluation of alternatives, while noncompensatory models simplify the decision-making process and reduce cognitive load. The selection of a strategy depends on the decision-maker’s preferences, the complexity of the decision, and the available resources. By understanding the differences between these models and considering the factors that influence their selection, decision-makers can improve their ability to make informed and rational choices.