DECISION MAKING AND PROBLEM SOLVING- 2016.docx

3 the valence of an element is determined by the

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3. The valence of an element is determined by the valences and acceptability of all the elements to which it is connected e) Using Intuition and Emotion to Make Good Decisions The theory of emotional coherence shows how people’s gut feelings about what to do may sometimes emerge from integrative unconscious judgements about the actions that might best accomplish their goals. But it also applies to cases where people’s intuitions are too quick and uninformed. How can students and other people be helped to ensure that their decisions are based on informed intuition? For important decisions, rather than leaping to an immediate intuitive choice, people should follow the following procedures: i) Informed Intuition 1. Set up the decision problem carefully. This requires identifying the goals to be accomplished by your decision and specifying the broad range of possible actions that might accomplish those goals. 2. Reflect on the importance of the different goals. Such reflection will be more emotional and intuitive than just putting a numerical weight on them, but it should help you to be more aware of what you care about in the current decision situation. Identify goals whose importance may be exaggerated because of jonesing or other emotional distortions. 3. Examine beliefs about the extent to which various actions would facilitate the different goals. Are these beliefs based on good evidence? If not revise them. 4. Make your intuitive judgement about the best action to perform, monitoring your emotional reaction to different options. Run your decision past other people to see if it seems reasonable to them. This procedure combines the strengths and avoids the weaknesses of intuition and calculation models of decision-making. Like the intuition model, it recognizes that decision-making is an unconscious process that involves emotions. Like the calculation model, it aims to avoid decision errors caused by unsystematic and unexamined intuitions. One drawback of the informed intuition procedure is that it is not so inter-subjective as the calculation model, in which the numerical weights and calculations can be laid out on the table for all to see. It is important in many cases for people to go through the steps of producing a calculation in order to provide some information about how different people are seeing the situation. However, the individual decision makers will have to make decisions based on their own intuitive judgements about what is the right thing to do. Achieving consensus among a group of decision makers may require extensive discussion that reveals the goals and beliefs of decision makers to themselves as well as to others. It is easier to identify emotional distortions in others than in yourself. The discussion, including the exercise of working through a calculation together, may help the members of a group converge on evaluation of goal importance and belief plausibility that Dr. Tom Destiny Namwambah Lecture Series 2016 12 | P a g e
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produce a shared reaction of emotional coherence. A crucial part of this process is becoming
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