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Trickle is a community of lifelong learners where you can discover curated insights and share your own knowledge

Trickle is a community of lifelong learners to discover and share knowledge

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Trickle is a community of lifelong learners where you can discover curated insights and share your own knowledge.

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A decision involves choosing a course of action among several alternatives

Chapter 1 Good decision making is critical in personal and professional life

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A decision can be defined as a commitment to a course of action having the intention of serving the interests and values of particular people.
Frank Yates Share this expert FY Frank Yates , quoted in The Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance

A decision is usually described as a choice between alternative courses of action. According to Samuel Eilon Share this expert SE Samuel Eilon several characteristics define decisions:

  • Multiple alternatives are identified
  • The alternatives are compared
  • The outcomes of the alternatives are evaluated
  • A choice is made about the course of action in a certain situation

When considering decisions one could focus on the final point — the psychological moment in which the decision is made — or the process that led up to making that decision. Robert Hoffmann Share this expert RH Robert Hoffmann and Frank Yates Share this expert FY Frank Yates suggest that decisions are much more complex than a single decision point and that it is better to think of them in terms of a process of deciding. The decision-making process is traditionally broken down into three phases:

  • Assessment of the situation
  • Determination of viable courses of action
  • Commitment to a course of action (final point)

But Hoffmann and Yates point out that:

Three-step models are potentially misleading. You can always unpack any given three-step into embedded three-steps, each having its own moment of choice.
Robert Hoffmann Share this expert RH Robert Hoffmann and Frank Yates Share this expert FY Frank Yates , IEEE Intelligent Systems

Decision making is a rich process of addressing several cardinal decision issues or fundamental questions such as the underlying need, defining the options, value judgments, the cost of the decision, predicted outcomes, the authority of the decision maker, trade-offs, the acceptability of the decision for stakeholders and considerations for implementation.

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