The Decision Process: Seven Categories of Functional Analysis
By Harold D. Lasswell
Summary written by Conflict Research Consortium Staff
Citation: The Decision Process: Seven Categories of Functional Analysis, Harold D. Lasswell, (College Park, Maryland: University of Maryland Press, 1956) 23pp.
The Decision Process: Seven Categories of Functional Analysis, is a functional analysis of the seven categories, or components of the decision process. Lasswell's book is recommended reading for both political science courses, PSCI 5086 and PSCI 5081 and is implicit in the approaches of Professor Charles Lester in the former course and Professor Sam Fitch in the latter. Lasswell's work is implicit, if not explicit in much of the work on the decision process done in the latter half of this century.
Lasswell enumerates seven functions within the decision process. These are: intelligence, recommendation, prescription, invocation, application, appraisal and termination. Lasswell attributes the selection of these seven functions to his colleague, Professor Myers S. McDougal. Much of this short work is devoted to providing examples of the functions. The branches of the U S federal government are described and asserted to be responsible for particular functions. Lasswell both acknowledges and accounts for cyclical changes in function and structure.
While a brief work, The Decision Process: Seven Categories of Functional Analysis, offers a basic primer for understanding the decision process.