Decisions An Introduction to Decision Making

Decisions, Decisions! An Introduction to Decision Making



All human beings instinctively make decisions from the time they start to think coherently. But did you know that research shows majority of us do not make good decisions? Thus, it is important to be knowledgeable about what is decision making, as well as which techniques in decision making actually work.


What is decision making all about? First of all, a good definition of decision making is that it is the science of determining then selecting options at hand using the values and preferences of the individual in question.


What kinds of decisions are there? Let us look at them closely.


  • The first type of decision is dubbed “Decisions whether”. This type of decision answers a yes/no question to make an either/or decision. If we use this type of decision, we will be weighing the pros and cons of the answer. We should be alert to making a “decision whether” because all too frequently we think that decision making starts with determining our options (if the decision to select an option has already been formulated.)


  • The second type of decision is called “Decisions which”. This type asks the decision maker to select one or more options from a range of choices. The choice will be made based on whether each option can match a predetermined set of criteria.


  • A contingent decision means that the decision maker has come up with a decision but has sidelined the decision because a pre-set condition or factor has not been met yet.


We must also bear in mind that majority of our decisions are not made in a linear fashion. Rather, we keep shifting from the criteria that we would like our choice of decision to fall under and the determination of options which we can choose from. The options will have an impact on the criteria and vice versa.


It would be nice if the elements for making a good decision where there all the time. But this is not so, in real life. Thus, we can see that there are three advantages to postponing making a decision for a reasonable time. First, we will be able to get more data that could be crucial to making a decision. We also gain more time to consider our options or find that there are more options out there we can include in our analysis. Lastly, if you had more time you might amend your choice because other factors or criteria come into play.