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A decision is a final product of the specific mental/cognitive process of an individual or a group of persons/organizations which is called decision making, therefore it is a subjective concept. It is a mental object and can be an opinion, a rule or a task for execution/application.

More precisely speaking, a mental object D is a decision if it was obtained by a conscious choice of only one opinion or one action (from a known set called alternatives) and it is designated for an application.

Decisions can also be made by AI computer programs and autonomous robots. That what essentially influence a decision is the set of alternatives available for a decision-maker and choice criteria applied.

In different human activity domains, decision has many local meanings, for example,

  • in law,
    • a decision is the outcome of a legal case
    • a per curiam decision by a court with multiple judges
    • a landmark decision is the outcome of a case which sets a legal precedent
    • a type of European Union legislation
  • in boxing, a result arrived at by the judges
  • in professional wrestling, a decision is a means by which a wrestler scores a point against his opponent.


  • Specially important decisions are those which have normative long-term or order/task character, and intend to influence different human communities, for example, political decisions.
  • Decision-making capacity is considered as a necessary and sufficient attribute of an intelligence, see socio-cognitive engineering.
  • Many decisions can be connected in decision trees.