The Three Secrets of Wise Decision Making by Barry F. Anderson

Posted By: Alexpal
The Three Secrets of Wise Decision Making by  Barry F. Anderson

The Three Secrets of Wise Decision Making by Barry F. Anderson (Author), Winky Wheeler (Illustrator)
Publisher: Single Reef Pr (November 2002) | ISBN-10: 0972217703 | PDF | 9,2 Mb |

As the world has become more complex and information more abundant, decisions have become more difficult. As the pace of change and the range of choice have increased, decisions have to be made more often. Yet most of us still make decisions with no more knowledge about decision processes than our ancestors had in a simpler age, hundreds of years ago.

Mathematicians, economists, psychologists, and practitioners have developed a variety of powerful and easily applied tools for decision making. Evidence is accumulating that better decision processes lead to better outcomes and that unaided human decision processes are not good enough for many decisions. More to the present point, evidence is also accumulating that learning better decision processes can make people better decision makers in their daily lives. The Three Secrets of Wise Decision Making brings the best of the new methods to the intelligent reader.

The Three Secrets is designed expressly to help people make better decisions. It has been repeatedly tested in a course on personal decision making. The approach of the book is unabashedly practical. Except for portions of the second chapter, the emphasis is consistently on what to do. What the second chapter does is provide a brief overview of basic cognitive processes and the ways in which they tend to limit decision quality and also a brief explanation of the basic decision aids and the ways in which each supplements basic cognitive processes to enhance rationality, creativity, or judgment—the "three secrets". Some understanding of why the techniques are needed and how they work should enable the reader to apply them with greater effectiveness and satisfaction.

The Three Secrets is organized around the Decision Ladder a structured array of techniques to suit all decision problems and all decision makers. The Ladder extends from largely intuitive approaches, at the bottom, to decision trees, at the top. The key rung on the Ladder is the decision table and its variants: fact tables, plusses-and-minuses value tables, and 1-to-10 value tables. In the last chapter, the decision tree is introduced as a more sophisticated way of dealing with risky decisions and sequences of decisions. It is recommended that the reader start at the bottom of the Decision Ladder when beginning work on any decision problem and work up only so far as necessary. This keeps the process of decision making from becoming more complicated than would be appropriate for either the decision problem or the decision maker.

The Three Secrets is richly provided with examples taken from life. One of the examples, Amelia’s career decision, runs through the entire book, adding human interest and conceptual continuity.

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