Exploring the Decision Making Process

By on February 8, 2016 in All 2017

Interestingly, the human mind has certain predictable tendencies when involved in a decision making process. So of course – somewhere, in some big college dealing with some “science” like sociology or psychology, some professor has put together a curriculum teaching the “sciences” behind decision making.

Apparently – the whole process of making a decision, whether a small or a big decision revolves around the following features.

Satisfiers vs. Maximizers

Satisfiers are people who engage in the decision making process once they “acquire a certain criteria”. So in people-speak, this means that they decide once they see an option that meets their expectations. Despite seemingly high criterion, satisfiers make instant decisions once they find what they are looking for. For example, if you are looking for a certain type of house and your agents shows numerous houses, and you turn them down. However, once you get the particular house you are looking for, you settle for that, and you have no need for checking out the remaining houses, you are as satisfier.

Maximizers, on the other hand, have to try everything out before making a decision. When looking for a house, they have to go through all the available houses that are for sale so that they can know that they have made the best option. Ultimately, maximizers tend to spend more energy during a decision-making process, and they are usually less happy than the satisfiers are.

So although they are maximizers, they have not maximized their happiness.

Explaining How Less Can Be More

Psychologists argue that we have the capacity to make snap decisions founded on limited information. I too argue the same thing.

Nevertheless, apparently we do not apply that, we tend to look for additional information and try to capture as much as we can and then end up getting confused. The decision making process is more challenging because of the Internet. Can you imagine simple life was, before the inception of Google? Neither can I (actually I can, because I am old enough to have existed when Google was just an upstart challenging the mighty Yahoo!). However, to be honest, the Internet has made everything more complicated, because we have to Google search the history of a car manufacturer, before deciding to buy something from it. Essentially, psychologists maintain that only the crucial information is necessary when making a decision, for instance, is the efficiency of the car. That also explains why psychologists chose to major in Psychology – they too made snap decisions based on whatever they happened to know at the time.

Types of Intuitions

There are three types of intuitions. The ordinary feeling or gut instinct is the common intuition when you know that it will pour later in the day. It is a vague intuition. Expert intuition is instant reflex, for instance when tennis pro knows the direction of the tennis ball based on the arc of the opponent. It is a swift intuition that works only in familiar situations. Strategic intuition is a clear thought that works in new situations, and it is always slow. Once your brain gets used to making certain decisions, you can make the subsequent decisions easily, unlike the firstĀ  decision-making process. Very often, the keenest sense of strategic intuition comes only just after the fact, or just as about something is going to go wrong. This is often confused with hindsight.

So what kind of decision maker are you? Will changing your decision making style ensure a better outcome? This is unlikely because regardless of how much you know – you cannot predict the future and there are about a gazillion ways for things to not go according to plan. So why are psychologists studying this shit and writing academic papers – justifying their existence in universities ? Why are people paying to learn this bull-shit and taking tests to test their understanding of these hocus-pocus theories? Why did you read this article in the first place? I am not a psychologist. In fact you likely have no idea who I am and I sure as hell know that I didn’t give you any useful data. If you were even slightly intelligent, you too would have known about half way through the article that I wasn’t planning on giving you anything useful.

In fact, the only real takeaway from this entire article is that you really need to make more careful choices about where and how you decide to spend your time.

Visit the Random Decision Maker Application main page now!

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