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Title: GRA 6820


1
GRA 6820The Psychology of Decision
Making(Harrison, Chapter 6)
2
Overview of chapter 6
  • The role of personality
  • Risk behavior
  • Perception in decision making
  • Subconscious influences

3
The disciplines of decision making
4
Disciplinary roots of decision science
DESCRIPTIVE THEORIES PRESCRIPTIVE THEORIES
INDIVIDUAL Psychology Marketing Psychiatry Literature Decision science Economics Operations research Philosophy/logic
GROUP Social psychology Organizational behavior Anthropology Sociology Game theory Organizational behavior Clinical psychiatry/therapy Finance/economics
ORGANIZATION Organization theory Sociology Industrial organization Political science Planning/strategy Control theory/cybernetics Organization design Team theory/economics
SOCIETY Sociology Anthropology Macroeconomics Legal philosophy Political sciences Social choice
Kleindorfer, P.R., Kunreuther, H.C. and
Schoemaker, P.J.H. (1993). Decision Sciences An
integrative perspective, Cambridge.
5
Factors influencing strategy
  • Complexity
  • Uncertainty
  • Long time delays between action and reaction
  • Conflicting objectives
  • Multiple decision makers

We seek a rational framework to help us sort
through these issues
6
Sense-making
  • A characteristic of humans is trying to make
    sense of incomprehensible things.
  • Sense-making is described as
  • Structuring the unknown, but in different ways.
  • Placing stimuli into some sort of framework a
    frame of reference that guides interpretations.
  • A thinking process that uses retrospective
    accounts to explain surprises.
  • Reciprocal interaction of information seeking,
    meaning assignment and action.
  • An interpretive process needed for organizational
    members to understand and share understandings
    about features of the organization.
  • A process in which individuals develop cognitive
    maps of their environment.

Sense may be in the eye of the beholder, but
beholders vote and the majority rules. K.E.
Weick
7
Problem structure
Degree of Structure Degree of Structure Operational Performance Operational Management Management Control Strategic Planning
Structured Structured Payroll Production Accounts Receivable Budget Management Portfolio Analysis
Equipment Scheduling Inventory Control Short-term Forecasting Site Location
Dispatching Maintenance Management Long-term Forecasting Mergers and Acquisitions
Unstructured Unstructured Equipment Diagnosis Cash Management Budget Preparation Product Planning
8
Sense-making Multiple perspectives
A real-world situation of concern
9
Definition Problem
  • A formal statement of a set of assumptions about
    the world.
  • The assumptions are rarely made explicit.
  • Whether we see an event or situation as a
    problem depends on our view of the world.
  • Problems do not exist independently of the person
    who sees them.
  • Mistaking the map for the territory.

10
The principle of bounded rationality
  • The capacity of the human mind for formulating
    and solving complex problems is very small
    compared to the size of those problems whose
    solution is required for objectively rational
    behavior in the real world or even for a
    reasonable approximation to such objectivity.

Simon, H.A. (1957). Administrative Behavior A
study of decision making processes in
administrative organizations, 4th ed. New York
The Free Press.
11
The mind of the strategist
  • Successful business strategies result not from
    rigorous analysis, but from a particular state of
    mind.
  • Strategy making is in essence a creative and
    partly intuitive process, often disruptive of the
    status quo.
  • Strategists employ analysis only to stimulate the
    creative process, to test the ideas that emerge,
    to work out their strategic implications or to
    ensure successful execution.

12
The anatomy of a decision
  • The rational approach to decision making
  • Define the problem.
  • Identify the criteria.
  • Weight the criteria.
  • Generate alternatives.
  • Rate each alternative on each criterion.
  • Compute the optimal decision.

13
Phases in the strategic decision making process
INTELLIGENCE
  • Subject to constraints.
  • Individual
  • Organizational
  • Societal

14
Problem solving constraints
  • Cultural constraints
  • Cultural Iceberg
  • Organizational constraints
  • Contextual variables
  • Structural variables
  • Individual constraints
  • Cognitive
  • Personality

15
The cultural iceberg
16
Problem solving constraints Organizational
factors
  • Contextual variables

Structural variables
17
Constraints Individual factors
  • Stereotypical thinking
  • Risk of failure
  • Memory constraints
  • World-view constraints
  • Self imposed constraints
  • Lack of a questioning attitude
  • Functional constraints
  • Problem solving language constraints

18
A model of cognitionThe human information
processing model
19
Biases
  • Assumptions
  • Judgment is plagued by random error and
    systematic biases.
  • Good judgment requires mental skills exceeding
    our capabilities.
  • Capacity of the mind is small relative to the
    size of the problems.
  • Heuristics and rules of thumb are used to cope
    with problem complexity.
  • Good news
  • This allows us to deal with the real world.
  • Bad news
  • This often leads to faulty data acquisition and
    processing.

20
Biases in problem solving
  • Acquisition biases
  • Availability
  • Selective perception
  • Frequency
  • Base rate
  • Illusory correlation
  • Data presentation
  • Framing
  • Processing biases
  • Inconsistency
  • Conservatism
  • Nonlinear extrapolation
  • Information sources
  • Source consistency
  • Consistent information sources can increase
    confidence in judgments, but not increase
    predictive accuracy.
  • Data presentation

21
Biases in problem solving
  • Decision environment
  • Time pressure
  • Information overload
  • Distractions
  • Emotional stress
  • Social pressures
  • Processing heuristics
  • Habits/rules of thumb
  • Anchoring and adjustment
  • Representativeness
  • Justifiability
  • Law of small numbers
  • Regression bias
  • Best guess strategy

22
Biases in problem solving
  • Output bias
  • Question format
  • Scale effects
  • Wishful thinking
  • Illusion of control
  • Feedback bias
  • Outcome irrelevant learning structures
  • Misperception of chance occurrences
  • Failure/success attributions
  • Logical fallacies in recall
  • Hindsight

23
Feedback biases and learning
Mental model (governing variables and
relationships)
Choosing
Double loop learning
Acting
Single loop learning
Observing consequences (match/mismatch with
expectations)
24
Heuristics and biases in decision making
Availability Judgments distorted by easily recalled events
Selective perception Expectations bias observations
Illusory correlation Encourages belief that unrelated variables are correlated
Conservatism Ignoring full effect of new information
Law of small numbers Overestimating representativeness of small groups
Regression bias Failure to allow for regression to the mean
Wishful thinking Probability of desired events judged too highly
Illusion of control Overestimating personal control over outcomes
Logical reconstruction Logical reconstruction of inaccurately recalled events
Hindsight bias Overestimation of predictability of past events
25
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29
Antidotes to counteract biases
Bias Antidote
Under- estimating uncertainty Use frameworks for strategic analysis Use multiple perspectives Devils advocate Consider improbable or unpopular assumptions Re-evaluate over time
Believing chance is predictable Use frameworks for strategic analysis Devils advocate Consider improbable or unpopular assumptions Re-evaluate over time
Selective perception Use frameworks for strategic analysis Use multiple perspectives Devils advocate Consider improbable or unpopular assumptions
Anchoring and adjustment Use multiple perspectives Devils advocate Consider improbable or unpopular assumptions Re-evaluate over time
Seeing opportunities incrementally Use frameworks for strategic analysis Use multiple perspectives Consider improbable or unpopular assumptions
Seeking only confirming evidence Use frameworks for strategic analysis Use multiple perspectives Devils advocate Consider improbable or unpopular assumptions Re-evaluate over time
Framing biases Use multiple perspectives Devils advocate Re-evaluate over time
Reasoning by inappropriate analysis Use multiple perspectives Devils advocate Re-evaluate over time
Escalating commitment irrationally Use frameworks for strategic analysis Use multiple perspectives Devils advocate Consider improbable or unpopular assumptions Re-evaluate over time
Teisberg, E.O. (1991). Why do good managers
choose poor strategies? Harvard Business School
Case 9-391-172.
30
Decision trapsRusso and Schoemaker, Decision
Traps 1989
  1. Plunging in.
  2. Frame blindness.
  3. Lack of frame control.
  4. Overconfidence in your judgment.
  5. Shortsighted shortcuts.
  6. Shooting from the hip.
  7. Group failure.
  8. Fooling yourself about feedback.
  9. Not keeping track.
  10. Failure to audit your decision process.

31
Decision traps summary(Russo and Schoemaker,
1989)
Plunging in Beginning to gather information and reach conclusions without first taking a few minutes to think about the crux of the issue youre facing or to think through how you believe decisions like this should be made.
Frame blindness Setting out to solve the wrong problem (Type 3 error) because you have created a mental framework for your decision, with little thought, that causes you to overlook the best options or lose sight of important objectives.
Lack of frame control Failing to consciously define the problem in more ways than one or being unduly influenced by the frames of others.
Overconfidence in your judgments Failing to collect key factual information because you are too sure of your assumptions and opinions.
Shortsighted shortcuts Relying inappropriately on rules of thumb such as implicitly trusting the most readily available information or anchoring too much on convenient facts.
32
Decision traps - summary
Shooting from the hip Believing you can keep straight in your head all the information youve discovered, and thereby winging it rather than following a systematic procedure when making the final choice.
Group failure Assuming that with many smart people involved, good choices will follow automatically, and therefore failing to manage the group decision-making process.
Fooling yourself about feedback Failing to interpret the evidence from past outcomes for what it really says, either because you are protecting your ego or because you are tricked by hindsight.
Not keeping track Assuming that experience will make its lessons available automatically, and therefore failing to keep systematic records to track the results of your decisions and failing to analyze these results in ways that reveal their key lessons.
Failure to audit your decision process Failing to create an organized approach to understand your own decision making, so you remain constantly exposed to all of the above mistakes.
33
Mental models
  • Personal theories of how things work
  • The most important factors.
  • The causal and correlational relationships that
    link them.
  • These models have different names
  • Conceptual structures
  • World views
  • Schema
  • Cognitive maps
  • Institutional models

34
How do mental models affect behavior?
  • Events
  • Sale of a new office building.
  • Property prices up 10 compared to last year.
  • Patterns
  • Annual new construction activity over the past
    50 years.
  • Structure
  • Mental models
  • Application of economic supply and demand
    models to real estate market behavior.

35
The ladder of inference
36
Skills for working with mental models
  • Becoming more aware of your own thinking and
    reasoning.
  • Reflection
  • Inquiring into others thinking and reasoning.
  • Inquiry
  • Making your own thinking and reasoning more
    visible to others.
  • Advocacy

37
Strategic learning Barriers to learning
38
Reflection as a resource
  • Ask yourself the following...
  • What really led me to think that way?
  • What was your intention? What were you
    attempting to accomplish?
  • Did you achieve the results you intended?
  • How might your comments have contributed to the
    difficulties?
  • Why didnt you say what was in your left-hand
    column?
  • What assumptions are you making about the other
    person or people?
  • What are the costs of operating this way? What
    were the payoffs?
  • What prevented you from acting differently?

39
Applying the Ladder of Inference
  • The ladder provides a means to ask questions...
  • What is the observable data behind that
    statement?
  • Does everyone agree on what the data is?
  • Can you run through your reasoning?
  • How did we get from that data to these abstract
    assumptions?
  • When you said your inference, did you mean
    my interpretation of it?

40
Uncovering mental models
  • Skills do not come easily and must be exercised.
  • Here are some steps to consider...
  • Identify the conclusion or claim someone is
    making.
  • Ask for data or evidence leading to that
    conclusion.
  • Inquire into the reasoning that connects the data
    with the claim.
  • Infer a possible belief or assumption.
  • State your inference and test it on the person.

41
Balancing Inquiry and Advocacy
  • A palette of conversational and dialogue skills.
  • Protocols for balancing inquiry and advocacy.
  • Conversational recipes...
  • Post hoc examination of conversations.
  • Seeking generic strategies for improving use of
    recipes.
  • Ask for others perspectives (inquiry).

42
Protocols for balancing Advocacy and InquiryFor
improving advocacy
What to do...
What to say...
  • State your assumptions, and describe the data
    that led you to them.
  • Explain your assumptions.
  • Make your reasoning explicit.
  • Explain the context of your point of view who
    will be affected by what you propose, how they
    will be affected, and why.
  • Give examples of what you propose, even if they
    are hypothetical or metaphorical.
  • As you speak, try to picture the other peoples
    perspectives on what you are saying.

Heres what I think, and heres how I got there.
I assumed that...
I came to this conclusion because...
To get a clear picture of what Im talking
about, imagine youre the customer who will be
affected...
43
Protocols for balancing Advocacy and
InquiryImproving advocacy
What to do...
What to say...
  • Encourage others to explore your model, your
    assumptions and your data.
  • Avoid defensiveness when your ideas are
    questioned. If you are advocating something
    worthwhile, then it will only get stronger by
    being tested.
  • Reveal where you are least clear in your
    thinking. Rather than making you vulnerable, it
    defuses the force of advocates who are opposed to
    you, and invites improvement.
  • Even when advocating listen, stay open,
    encourage others to provide different views.

What do you think about what I just said? or
Do you see any flaws in my reasoning? or What
can you add?
Heres one aspect which you might help me think
through...
Do you see it differently?
44
Protocols for balancing Advocacy and InquiryFor
facing points of view you do not agree with
What to do...
What to say...
How did you arrive at this view? or Are you
taking into account data that I have not
considered?
  • Again, inquire about what has led the person to
    that view.
  • Make sure you truly understand the view.
  • Explore, listen, and offer owns views in an open
    way.
  • Listen for the larger meaning that may come out
    of honest, open sharing of alternative mental
    models.
  • Raise you concerns and state what is leading you
    to have them.

If I understand you correctly, youre saying
that...
Have you considered?
When you say such-and-such, I worry that it
means...
I have a hard time seeing that, because of this
reasoning...
45
Protocols for balancing Advocacy and
InquiryImproving inquiry
What to do...
What to say...
  • Gently walk others down the ladder of inference
    and find out what data they are operating from.
  • Use nonaggressive language, particularly with
    people who are not familiar with these skills.
    Ask in a way which does not provoke
    defensiveness.
  • Draw out their reasoning. Find out as much as
    possible about why they are saying what they say.
  • Explain your reasons for inquiring, and how your
    inquiry relates to your own concerns, hopes and
    needs.

What leads you to conclude that? or What data
do you have for that? or What causes you to say
that?
Instead of What do you mean? or What s your
proof? say Can you help me understand your
thinking here?
What is the significance of that? How does
that relate to your other concerns? Where does
your reasoning go next?
Im asking you about your assumptions because...
46
Protocols for balancing Advocacy and
InquiryImproving inquiry
What to do...
What to say...
  • Test what they say by asking for broader
    contexts, or for examples.
  • Check your understanding of what they have said.
  • Listen for new understanding that may emerge.
    Dont concentrate on preparing to destroy the
    other persons argument or promote your own
    agenda.

How would your proposal affect...? or Is this
similar to...? or Can you describe a typical
example?
Am I correct that youre saying...?
47
Traditional vs. Systems Thinking
Traditional Thinking Skills
Systems Thinking Skills
  • Static Thinking
  • Focusing on particular events
  • System-as-Effect Thinking
  • Viewing behavior generated by a system as
    driven by external forces
  • Tree-by-Tree Thinking
  • Believing that really knowing something means
    focusing on the details
  • Factors Thinking
  • Listing factors that influence or are
    correlated with some result
  • Straight-Line Thinking
  • Viewing causality as running one way, with each
    cause independent from all other causes
  • Measurement Thinking
  • Searching for perfectly measured data
  • Proving-Truth Thinking
  • Seeking to prove models to be true by
    validating with historical data
  • Dynamic Thinking
  • Framing a problem in terms of a pattern of
    behavior over time
  • System-as-Cause Thinking
  • Placing responsibility for a behavior on
    internal actors who manage the policies and
    plumbing of the system
  • Forest Thinking
  • Believing that, to know something, one must
    understand the context of relationships
  • Operational Thinking
  • Concentrating on getting at causality and
    understanding how a behavior is actually
    generated
  • Closed-Loop Thinking
  • Viewing causality as an ongoing process with
    the effect feeding back to influence the
    causes, and the causes affecting one another
  • Quantitative Thinking
  • Accepting that one can always quantify, but not
    always measure
  • Scientific Thinking
  • Recognizing that all models are working
    hypotheses that always have limited applicability

Richmond, B. The Thinking in Systems Thinking
How Can We Make It Easier to Master? The
Systems Thinker, Vol. 8, No. 2, March 1997.
48
The role of personality
  • Jungian personality dimensions
  • Jungs psychological types
  • Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test
  • Implications for decision making

49
  • Behavior
  • Orderly reason for
  • personal differences
  • Preference for

Perceiving
Jung
Briggs
Making decisions
How and where one uses these function
How one deals with the world Behavior
50
Personality dimensions
Extravert/Introvert Thinking/Feeling Sensing/In
tuition Judgment/Perception
  • Results in four basic problems solving styles.
  • Each style has strengths and weaknesses.
  • No one style is uniquely superior.
  • Typology can be related to different inquiry,
    managerial and organizational styles.

51
Individual cognitive style
  • Provides insight into yourself and your behavior
  • as a manager.
  • as a communicator.
  • as a problem solver.
  • Provides a logical model of human behavior
  • Empirically verified

52
Jungian personality dimensions
53
Problem solving styles
ST SF NF NT
IJ I S T J I S F J I N F J I N T J
IP I S T P I S F P I N F P I N T P
EP E S T P E S F P E N F P E N T P
EJ E S T J E S F J E N F J E N T J
54
Individual benefits
  • Communication
  • Career choices
  • Leadership style
  • Team building
  • Learning and teaching skills
  • Problem solving

55
Cognitive style how is it measured?
  • Myers-Briggs Type Indicator
  • Based on the concepts of Jungian psychology

56
Why we need each other (1)
  • Feelers need Thinkers
  • To examine, analyze and organize.
  • To stand against opposing people, or to fire
    people if necessary.
  • To change, reform, or withdraw priviledges.
  • To maintain policy.
  • Thinkers need Feelers
  • To convey how others feel.
  • To persuade other to solve problems.
  • To help people understand one anothers views.
  • To build support for a system.

57
Why we need each other (2)
  • Intuitives need Sensers
  • To notice essential facts.
  • To point out prolems.
  • To offer illustrations based on experience.
  • To point out assets and liabilities in the here
    and now.
  • To keep track of details.
  • Sensers need Intuitives
  • To see possibilities in the future.
  • To plan and prepare.
  • To develop new ideas and systems.
  • To solve problems creatively and ingeneously.
  • To maintain enthusiasm.

58
Focus of the MBTI
  • The sources of our energy
  • The question of introversion and extroversion
  • The ways we perceive reality
  • Sensingly, in concrete detail, or intuitively by
    appreciating hunches and possibilities
  • The ways we act
  • Thinking clearly and logically, or in a more
    subjective way, basing decisions on personal
    values ahead of logic feeling
  • Our propensity to act
  • Judging and decisiveness, or keeping options open
    - perceiving

59
The perfect problem-solver
SENSE Collect data with all 5 senses
60
Implications for decision making
  • Data acquisition
  • By Sensation or by Intuition, but not both at the
    same time
  • Sensation information input through the senses.
  • Intuition acquisition by imagination, seeing
    the whole of a situation, the gestalt.
  • Data processing
  • Decisions are reached by Thinking or Feeling
  • Thinking decision based on impersonal analyses
    and analytical modes of reasoning.
  • Feeling decision based on personalistic, value
    judgments.

61
The process of perception gathering
data/information
  • (S) Sensing function
  • The reality factor
  • perceives in terms of specifics, using the five
    senses
  • sees things one-at-time, in the concrete
  • has a present time focus the here and now
  • occupied with and attentive to facts
  • can be criticized for being set in ways
  • sometimes cannot see the forest for the trees
  • (N) Intuitive function
  • The sixth sense
  • perceives in terms of patterns, relations
  • sees possibilities
  • has a future time focus oriented to change,
    innovation
  • tends to estimate or approximate factual details
  • can be criticized for having head in the
    clouds, not enjoying the present
  • sometimes cannot see the tree for the forest

62
The process of judging coming to
conclusion/rational process for closure
  • (T) Thinking function
  • The analytic factor
  • comes to conclusion using established principles,
    logically attending to cause and effect
  • principal concern for truth and the wider
    principles involved
  • values fairness highly particularly sensitive to
    injustice
  • has an atemporal time orientation appeals to
    reason, likes analysis
  • consistency and validity are important
    principles are applied impersonally
  • values what is true
  • (F) Feeling function
  • The bonding factor
  • comes to conclusion by an associative process
    by analogy,and comparison with past experience
  • principal concern for the interpersonal and
    intersubjective dimensions involved
  • values harmony highly particularly sensitive to
    conflict
  • oriented to past events appeals to what is
    meaningful, relies on the psychological
  • compassion is important
  • values what is good

63
Attitude observable preference, style of
interacting with the world
  • (J) Judging
  • needs closure on events, relationships, ideas
  • wants to finish get things done
  • Values punctuality sees time in terms of
    decision
  • prefers advance clarity, order, structure
  • likes schedules and working to a plan
  • comes across as decisive
  • interested only in essentials
  • keys in on the conscious factors
  • can leap to conclusion and move into action out
    of sheer urgency to come to closure
  • can be stubborn or one track
  • can be vulnerable in not considering alternatives
  • (P) Perceiving
  • needs to hang loose with events, relationships,
    ideas
  • prefers openness to what may come
  • punctuality is not a high value sees time in
    terms of opportunity
  • has tolerance for ambiguity, open-endedness
  • prefers spontaneity, is adaptable to changes
  • tends to postpone decisions and action
  • never has enough information
  • keys in on the unconscious
  • can move into action out of sheer intensity of
    perception
  • can be pulled in many different directions
  • can be vulnerable in not recognizing the tragedy
    of the excluded possibility

64
Attitude orientation/direction of energy flow
  • (E) Extraversion
  • the outside world captures attention life is
    discovered mutually in the external forum
  • needs a public forum to sort out experience
  • tends to expand and propagate rather than
    conserve is expansive, energized by interaction
  • engages others easily comfortable in new groups
  • assumes free movement can intrude on others
    unawares can make demads for response by sheer
    force of presence
  • if you dont know where they are, you havent
    been listening
  • the unlived life isnt worth examining
  • (I) Introversion
  • the inner world is the world of most important
    activity life is discovered interiorly and
    shared
  • needs time and space to process life-experience
    interiorly
  • tends to consolidate, defend moderates and
    controls personal disclosure and interaction
    energized by privacy and intimacy
  • can appear withdrawn is generally cautious of
    others space can stalemate a situation by
    silence
  • the unexamined life isnt worth living

65
Problem solving styles
  • ST represents concepts of the Industrial
    Revolution.
  • NT stress conceptual analyses instead of
    precise quantification.
  • SF and NF define different types of qualitative
    analyses.
  • ST and NF are polar opposites in preferences for
    information gathering and processing.
  • NT and SF are two forms of qualitativeness and do
    not conflict to the same extent as ST-NF types.

66
Problem solving using Type preferences (1)
  • Sensing
  • What are the facts?
  • What exactly is the situation?
  • What has been done?
  • What am I and others doing?
  • How would an outsider look at this situation?
  • Intuition
  • What are the possibilities?
  • What other ways are there for solving this
    problem?
  • What do the data imply?
  • What are the implications beyond the facts?
  • What is this problem analogous to?

67
Problem solving using Type preferences (2)
  • Thinking
  • What are the pros and cons of each possibility?
  • What are the logical consequences of each
    possibility?
  • What is the cost of each?
  • What are the pleasant and unpleasant outcomes of
    each?
  • What is the consequence of not acting?
  • Feeling
  • How much do I care about what I gain or lose in
    each alternative?
  • What are the values involved for each
    possibility?
  • How will people concerned react to the outcome?
  • Who is committed to carry out the solution?
  • Will the outcome contribute to individual or
    group harmony?

68
Problem solving using Type preferences (3)
  • Perception
  • Use at each step to ensure openness to all
    aspects of the problem.
  • Judgment
  • Use to set a timetable for moving on to the next
    step of the decision process.
  • Introversion
  • Use to reflect at each step along the way.
  • Extroversion
  • Use to discuss each step and to implement the
    solution.

69
Contributions
  • A knowledge of cognitive type
  • Lessens friction.
  • Reveals the value of differences.
  • Helps to understand and appreciate the strengths
    of each type.
  • Lessens waste of potential.
  • and
  • Opposites can supplement each other in joint
    undertakings.
  • Pooling preferences offers best chance of finding
    a solution valid for both.
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