Myths of Decision Making

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Many of us think that efficiency in decision making means jumping right in and making a decision. But rushing can lead to decisions based on the wrong factors. And your smartphone isn’t much use either – in fact, it may help enable a series of counterproductive ideas that actually impair your ability to make informed decisions.


Myth 1: I’m too busy

  • You don’t have time to think about this decision.
  • Putting off a decision is a decision in itself
  • You’ll save time later by spending quality time now and avoid having to revisit the decision

Myth 2: I just need to solve this problem at this moment

  • Wrong. Problems nearly always sit in a context. A narrow focus may only solve part of the problem
  • Or worse, it simply involves the obvious symptom and not the actual problem

Myth 3: I know I’m right

  • In other words, you just want an opinion to confirm your own thinking. Known as ‘confirmation bias,’ this decision-making flaw is behind many failures. You have been warned.
  • It’s very easy to see what you want to see, rather than what may be present.

Myth 4: I can trust my gut

  • It’s great to rely on your instincts. But remember, that when you rely on your gut, you are relying upon your own bias and faulty memories.
  • Important decisions benefit from prying open cognitive space to allow for new information and insight.

Myth 5: I have all the information I need

  • While you may want to forge ahead, you can improve your decisions – and your satisfaction – by investing in a little bit of research and confronting assumptions with evidence.

Myth 6: I can make a rational decision

  • Psychologists have demonstrated that as much as we’d like to believe it, none of us are rational.
  • We all operate through a dirty windshield of bias based on past experience and feelings