A theory of analytical hierarchies applied to political candidacy

Thomas Saaty
Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business
University of Pittsburgh
United States
J. P. Bennett
University of Pennsylvania
United States

Publication date: Jan, 1977

Journal: Behavioral Science
Vol.: 22- Issue: 4- Pages: 237-245

Abstract: A theory of hierarchies is applied to structure complex decision problems about groups, organizations, societies or supranational systems in three steps. The problem is decomposed into a number of strata, each with several elements which may be people, variables, policies, and so on. We next analyze judgments about the interactions among elements in each stratum with respect to their impact upon elements of the immediately higher stratum of the hierarchy. A theorem on hierarchical structure permits us to recompose judgments made at each stratum to arrive at an overall preference ordering, policy choice, or solution to the decision problem. A simple, three‐strata hierarchy pertaining to the choice of the most qualified candidate for the Democractic Party's Presidential nomination illustrates the theory at the level of a societal system.

Keywords: Complex devision, Hierarchical theory, AHP, Analytic Hierarchy Process