Decision making – the empty quadrant

 

Decision Making – the parliament, general elections and the Brexit referendum

The diagram in the previous post had an empty quadrant. It bugged me that I could not think of a decision making process that lay in that quadrant.

Which decision making process considers lots of options, and votes on them (or discusses them) regularly?

It came to me next morning. And once it came, it stayed. It’s so obvious that there are books, and cartoon strips, and TV sitcom episodes based on it.

Continue reading Decision making – the empty quadrant

Decision making – the Parliament, general elections, and referendums

Here’s a basic principle of decision making:

If a decision is critical and not easily reversible, consider all options deeply.

If a decision is easily amendable, make a quick decision and revisit frequently.

General election voting uses the first principle. Parliaments vote using the second. The Brexit referendum was an illogical mix of the two, causing a biased outcome.

Decision Making – the parliament, general elections and the Brexit referendum
Continue reading Decision making – the Parliament, general elections, and referendums

Risk – Statistics, norms & decision fatigue

They wouldn’t think of preventing many statistically riskier parenting decisions so long as those decisions jive comfortably with social norms.

Source: Working Mom Arrested for Letting Her 9-Year-Old Play Alone at Park – The Atlantic

This problem is everywhere – social behaviour decisions, government policy implementations, day-to-day corporate decision-making. The reason, hinted at in the quote above, is two-fold:

  1. Strength of ingrained social norms
  2. Mental effort required to understand statistical risk of decisions

Other potential reasons, I guess, are:

  1. Decision fatigue, or coping mechanisms for it – people avoid making decisions requiring involved thinking if they can get away without them , and
  2. Conflict avoidance – going with less controversial, more socially accepted option, even if it may be the worse/wrong choice.

What can (should) be done to overcome these hurdles? (Other than defining regulation more rigidly to take decisions out of hands of people, and/or ‘educating’ people)