The Facts About Managers And Executives Make Decisions On A Daily Basis
Managers and executives make decisions on a daily basis, and not all bad decision making arises from lack of correct information, or an error in the actual technical process of decision making which would imply incompetence on the part of the executive. Hammond, Keeney, and Raiffa (1989), posit that bad decisions, especially catastrophic ones, can be made by the hidden traps present in our subconscious mind, which influence the decision-making process without the decision maker being aware of it. Awareness of these traps in decision-making and knowing how to avoid them are key towards avoiding bad outcomes in complex decision making processes.
2.0 The Hidden Traps
One of the well - known traps is judging distance by a mental process known as heuristics. Our brains correlate clarity of an object with its relative distance from the observer. Object that is hazy are judged to be further away than objects that appear more clear and visible detail. However, heuristics can cause bad decision making on a foggy day where one might misjudge an object’s distance to be greater than it really is, putting one at increased risk while driving, and for airline pilots inaccurately estimate altitude with potentially catastrophic results. Pilots are trained to rely not only on vision, but flight instruments to avoid catastrophic errors (Hammond, Keeney, and Raiffa, 1989).
Another hidden trap described by Hammond, Keeney, and Raiffa (1989) is known as anchoring, where the…