Jacta Alia Est: Decisions, Decisions

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Gillian Singer

Jacta Alia Est
Decisions, Decisions

Before discussing the different ways a person can reach a decision, it is first necessary to know what decision making is.  According to The Oxford English Dictionary decision making is, “The making up of one's mind on any point or on a course of action; a resolution, determination.”  While the definition seems simple, the act of making up ones mind can be quite complicated.  You need only look at my dorm room floor on a Saturday night before I go out, to see how difficult making a decision can be…at least for me. There are generally three ways that most people use to make decisions.  The first being decisions based on whether. This type of decision making typically involves either/or and yes/no questions. For example, in deciding whether to have chocolate or vanilla ice cream, a person will often ask themselves a yes/no type of question, “Do I like chocolate better than vanilla?”   Another example would be a person trying to decide about whether they should ask for a raise.  In this instance the decision is usually reached after someone looks at the pros and cons to each side. The second kind are decisions based on which. In this instance, the person generally chooses one or more options from a larger group and makes their decision by determining which of these measures up to what one is looking for. The third type is contingent decisions. In contingent decisions a choice is often predetermined but is not acted upon until some kind of condition is met or an ideal opportunity arises. When making a decision under pressure or in crisis, there is a different set of actions taken. One study conducted by (Janis & Mann, 1997) shows there are at least five mechanisms for making choices when circumstances are doubtful. These are mechanisms that are used in extreme decision making processes. According to Mo(2006) extreme events are “events with high consequence, under-represented and disenfranchised...
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