Thinking Scientifically about Decisions

Thinking Scientifically about Decisions
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The Role of Heuristics in Decisions
Heuristics are the decision shortcuts that people use every day. While too imprecise to lead to optimal decisions, they are powerful tools that allow you to make appropriate decisions fairly easily. However, if you don't understand the limitations of heuristics, they can easily lead you astray from the truth into…
How Habits Make Decisions Easier
Habits are our immediate automatic responses - good and bad - to situations when we don't take the time to manufacture a purposeful decision. Decision science gives us the psychological framework within which to understand how habits form and are activated, and how best to change them when we want…
The Value Curve and Human Decisions
Prospect Theory reveals the ways in which our decision-making machinery values an item and why. Learn how to make better decisions by understanding appropriate reference points, sensitivity to changes in value, and the super-sensitivity we all experience when it comes to potential loss.
How Goals Guide Our Decisions
Can you influence the cognitive machinery that manufactures your decisions? Absolutely. Learn why and how our goals motivate us, which goals inspire our greatest effort, and how best to motivate others to help them meet their own goals - whether it's your sales team at work or your children at…
Mental Accounting as a Factor in Decisions
Mental accounting is a powerful decision-making tool we can employ to improve our lives. Learn how the process of partitioning objects and experiences in purposeful ways - everything from money and food to debt and social obligations - can increase happiness, decrease pain, and lead to better physical and emotional…
How Consistency Drives Decisions
Learn how the strong desire for consistency - between beliefs and actions, and between current and past actions - drives both our decision making and our judgment of others' actions. But what happens when our own actions are not consistent with our stated beliefs? Decision science reveals that we tend…
How Framing Effects Guide Decisions
Even as children, we learned that the way in which we presented a choice to our parents was often as important as the specific question we asked. Decision science reveals just how that tool - decision framing - can be used to our benefit, and how it is used to…
The Role of Memory in Decisions
In addition to the new information your brain is constantly acquiring, you use memory in your decision-making process. In fact, the quality of any decision often depends on accessing the appropriate memories at the appropriate time. Learn how some surprising tools can help you recall those memories more effectively.
How Evaluability Affects Decisions
Research shows that when evaluating options, we tend to place more importance on attributes we understand and less importance on those we don't - without considering relevance to the decision at hand. Learn how to better evaluate the choices in front of you and to avoid as many poor-decision pitfalls…
The Two-System Model of Decision Making
What's going on in your cognitive machinery as you manufacture your decision? Delve into the two-system model of decision making: System 1 is your automatic and intuitive processor, your earlier system from an evolutionary perspective; and System 2 is the flexible, powerful serial processor that you think of as "you."
Emotional Influences on Decision Making
Have you ever driven a bit recklessly when you felt angry or frustrated? If so, you know that emotions affect our decisions. Recently, scientists have discovered that our emotions play an even larger role than previously thought; in fact, they are an integral and necessary part of our cognitive machinery.
The Role of Mindsets in Decision Making
We don't make decisions in a vacuum. Before we even have the opportunity to decide our next action, before a stimulus even comes our way, we are mentally prepared to receive it. Our mindset, that stage of mental preparation, significantly affects how we perceive and process information and the decisions…