Intellectual Self Defence

Brains are delicate things…

The Hidden Traps in Decision Making

The Hidden Traps in Decision Making
Harvard Business Review
November 2000
by John S. Hammond, Ralph L. Keeney, and Howard Raiffa

This article takes a closer look at the importance of challenging business assumptions and lines of reasoning that limit learning. The authors describe modes of thinking that impede good decision making–and offer tips for avoiding these traps. For example: 1) Through anchoring, you give disproportionate weight to the first information you receive. To illustrate, a marketer projects future product sales by looking only at past sales figures. To avoid this trap, pursue other lines of thought in addition to your first one, and seek information from a variety of sources. 2) Through status quo, you favor decisions that perpetuate the existing situation. To avoid, ask how well the status quo really serves your objectives. 3) Through sunk costs, you make choices to justify past, flawed decisions. To avoid, elicit views from people who weren’t involved in the earlier decisions, and discourage fear of failure.

Here’s a bit more.

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This entry was posted on January 31, 2011 by in Ideological Blinkers and tagged .
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