Belief–desire–intention model

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The belief–desire–intention (BDI) model of human practical reasoning was developed by Michael Bratman as a way of explaining future-directed intention.

BDI is fundamentally reliant on folk psychology (the 'theory theory'), which is the notion that our mental models of the world are theories.


BDI was part of the inspiration behind the BDI software architecture, which Bratman was also involved in developing. Here, the notion of intention was seen as a way of limiting time spent on deliberating about what to do, by eliminating choices inconsistent with current intentions.

BDI has also aroused some interest in psychology. BDI formed the basis for a computational model of childlike reasoning CRIBB. It has been proposed that autistic children do not recognise other people as folk-psychological agents (i.e., agents with their own beliefs, etc.). BDI has been used to develop a rehabilitation strategy to teach autistic children to reason about other people.


  • Bratman, M. E. (1999) [1987]. Intention, Plans, and Practical Reason. CSLI Publications. ISBN 1-57586-192-5.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Galitsky, Boris (2002). "Extending the BDI model to accelerate the mental development of autistic patients". The 2nd International Conference on Development and Learning.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>