Psychology of decision making

2019 Blog, Other

During the promotion of using project management methods and tools in private life, the question of how whether the moment remains the same mystical experience by killing our emotional decision making, and only rely on rationality when making our decisions, due to planning our everyday lives as awareness dictates. Since this question became a focus of our most recent workshop, let’s shortly discuss the role of emotions in the process of decision making.

The most important thing to consider before making a decision is to have options to choose among. The more alternatives we have, the easier our task is. Naturally, this requires us to know the parameters of the options, and can compare them with each other.

Since our decisions are usually about our future, and the results are also influenced by external factors, an important fundamental question for our decision is how much we can affect future, and external influencers.

In order to make decisions, we need to know our own goals well, and since we mostly aim to reach more goals with a good decision, we have to be able to sort out discrepancies between our various goals as well.

The possibility of making a wrong turn, and the severity of decision consequences increases with the complexity of the decision making task. Therefore, researchers worked out several methods that help decision making. These methods build on separating decisions to parts, determining opportunities, evaluation perspectives, possible consequences, and all these are translated to numbers. In the end, the most advantageous variation is chosen, which means the decision maker has to be methodically led down the path of deciding, step by step.

But then, what’s up with intuition? Our senses often land us in more advantageous positions than our rational decisions. Even more so, some researchers observed how housewives make better investment decisions than official brokers.

However, opinions formed intuitively are not nearly free of fault. During intuitive deciding, we never get precise results, the correct answer is only approached. And which thought process should be employed? That depends largely on what kind of task is to be done, and the information environment related to it.