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Herbert A. Simon


Herbert A. Simon is not a financial term but a person. He was a renowned economist and a Nobel laureate recognized for his work on the theory of corporate decision-making known as “bounded rationality,” which suggests that people make decisions based on the information they have available rather than on purely rational calculations. He was instrumental in pioneering a more realistic approach to evaluating human behavior in economic theory.


The phonetic pronunciation is: [ˈhɜːrbərt eɪ ˈsaɪmən].

Key Takeaways

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  1. Herbert A. Simon was a renowned American economist and social scientist. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 1978 for his pioneering research into the decision-making process within economic organizations.
  2. Besides economics, Simon made significant contributions to other fields such as psychology, management science and philosophy. He is known as one of the founding fathers of artificial intelligence, and his theories laid the groundwork for the creation of complex systems and organizations.
  3. One of Simon’s most notable theories is known as “bounded rationality” , which suggests that when individuals make decisions, their rationality is limited by the information they have, the cognitive limitations of their minds, and the finite amount of time they have to make a decision.



Herbert A. Simon is not a business/finance term; rather, he was a renowned economist and a pioneer in the field of artificial intelligence. His contribution to the field of behavioral finance is of great significance as he developed the concept of “bounded rationality” , which suggests that people’s decision-making is not always rational due to the limitations in information and cognitive capabilities. His work challenged the classical economic theory of rational decision making. This concept has been instrumental in shaping various business strategies and understanding consumer behavior. Additionally, Simon’s research on administrative behavior and decision-making processes within organizations has deeply influenced the study of business administration.


Herbert A. Simon, a recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, is not a finance or business term but a renowned economist, cognitive psychologist, and computer scientist. His work had significant impact across various disciplines such as business management, artificial intelligence, and cognitive psychology, particularly heralding a paradigm shift in understanding decision-making processes based on rationality.In economics and business, Simon’s concept of ‘bounded rationality’ is noteworthy. It postulates that people are semi-rational actors who make satisfactory rather than optimal decisions due to limited information and cognitive capabilities. In other words, economic and business decisions are often made based on feasibility and practicality, instead of achieving the best possible outcome. Organizations utilize Simon’s models to structure their decision-making processes, which often involves considering limits like time constraints, cognitive capacities of decision-makers, and the attainability of information. His work helps organizations to make more realistic, practical, and efficacious decisions.


Herbert A. Simon is not a business/finance term. It’s a name of a person. Herbert A. Simon was an American economist, political scientist and cognitive psychologist, whose primary research interest was decision-making within organizations and is best known for the theories of “bounded rationality” and “satisficing”. He received the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1978. However, I can give you three examples how his theories have been applied in real-world business/finance.1. Bounded Rationality in Financial Decision Making: Everyday investors usually don’t have all the information in the world, or the time and skill to process that information, when they’re making investment decisions. Simon’s concept of bounded rationality describes this phenomenon. Investors make the best decisions they can, given their limited information and time. This has influenced the design of financial advice and decision-making tools geared towards retail investors.2. Satisficing in Corporate Strategy: Simon’s concept of satisficing, which means making a decision that’s good enough rather than optimizing, is regularly applied by businesses. For instance, a company might opt to pursue a strategy that they know will deliver guaranteed, albeit moderate, results in the interest of time and cost-effectiveness, rather than spending additional resources on finding an optimal strategy.3. Bounded Rationality in Organizational Structure: Simon’s work has also influenced the way companies structure and manage their organizations. For instance, understanding that employees can’t process all information or consider all options when making decisions, companies might opt to specialize roles, reducing the amount of information each person needs to handle and decisions they need to make. This led to the development of hierarchical structures in businesses.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

Who is Herbert A. Simon?

Herbert A. Simon was an American economist, political scientist, and cognitive psychologist. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 1978 for his research into the decision-making process within economic organizations.

What are some contributions of Herbert A. Simon to the field of economics?

Simon’s most notable contribution to the field of economics was his work on the theory of bounded rationality, which asserts that decision making is often irrational because of the limitations in human cognitive processing. He also played a significant role in the development of the fields of artificial intelligence, computer science, public administration, and cognitive psychology.

What is the significance of his ‘bounded rationality’ concept?

Bounded rationality was a revolutionary idea that challenged the classical economic assumption that individuals always make rational decisions aimed at maximizing their self-interest. Instead, Simon argued that human decision-making is limited by the information they have, the cognitive limitations of their minds, and the finite amount of time they have to make decisions.

When was Herbert A. Simon awarded the Nobel Prize and for what specific work?

Simon was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 1978 for his research into the decision-making process within economic organizations, most notably his theory of bounded rationality.

Did Herbert A. Simon contribute to fields other than economics?

Yes, besides economics, Simon contributed significantly to several other fields such as computer science, psychology, and public administration. He is one of the pioneers of artificial intelligence and was instrumental in defining its scope and application.

What are some of the books authored by Herbert A. Simon?

Some of Herbert A. Simon’s significant works include Models of Man: Social and Rational, Administrative Behavior , Models of Bounded Rationality , and The Sciences of the Artificial.

Where and when was Herbert A. Simon born?

Herbert A. Simon was born on June 15, 1916, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States.

How did Herbert A. Simon’s work influence the field of artificial intelligence?

Herbert A. Simon’s work significantly contributed to the field of artificial intelligence. His research and stance on the concept of ‘bounded rationality’ were applied to the development of intelligent systems, as they try to mimic human decision-making processes within certain limitations.

Related Finance Terms

  • Behavioral Economics
  • Decision-Making Processes
  • Administrative Behavior
  • Organizational Theory
  • Nobel Prize in Economics

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