Psychology of Decision Making

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The Abstract

The report is based on an industrial accident that took place in a unit of UCIL at Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh, India in December 1984 which gained worldwide attention because of various reasons. Various reasons were, the amount of monitory loss, number of people died in it and the long term hazards on the environment and the generations to come in Bhopal. UCIL was the Indian subsidiary of the U.S. Company Union Carbide Corporation (UCC). This was another reason for its worldwide attention as two different nations were involved in it. This report focuses on the series of decision taken by Indian and American Governments and the UCC and various other institutes involved in the issue and analysis of decision making psychologies behind those decisions. Last verdict is given by Bhopal Magistrate in 2010, so this report covers all the different decisions taken by different institutes from December 1984 to the last verdict by Bhopal Magistrate. Various references where ever necessary are given as footnotes and a detail Reference page is also given at the end of the report mentioning various referred website links and books.


About UCC (

Union Carbide Corporation is a chemical and polymers company with over 3,800 employees. The company possesses some of the industry's most advanced process and catalyst technologies, and operates some of the most cost-efficient, large-scale production facilities in the world. Union Carbide primarily produces chemicals and polymers that undergo one or more further conversions by customers before reaching consumers. Some of these materials are high-volume commodities, while others are specialty products meeting the needs of smaller market niches. The end-uses served include paints and coatings, packaging, wire and cable, household products, personal care, pharmaceuticals, automotive, textiles, agriculture and oil and gas.

About UCIL (

Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) owned, operated and managed on a daily basis the Bhopal plant.  UCIL was an Indian company in which Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) held just over half the stock. The other stockholders included Indian financial institutions and thousands of private investors in India. UCIL designed and constructed the Bhopal plant in the late 1970's using Indian consultants and workers. The plant -- operated by an Indian plant management team -- was constructed on land leased to UCIL by the Indian state government of Madhya Pradesh. The plant produced pesticides for use in India to help the country’s agricultural sector increase its productivity and contribute more significantly to meeting the food needs of one of the world's most heavily populated regions. In 1994, UCC sold its entire stake in UCIL to MacLeod Russell (India) Limited, which renamed the company, Eveready Industries India, Limited (Eveready Industries). In 1998, the state government of Madhya Pradesh took over the Bhopal site from Eveready Industries.

Bhopal Gas Tragedy ( On December 3 1984, more than 40 tons of methyl isocyanate gas leaked from a pesticide plant in Bhopal, India, immediately killing at least 3,800 people and causing significant morbidity and premature death for many thousands more. The company involved in what became the worst industrial accident in history immediately tried to dissociate itself from legal responsibility. At 11.00 PM on December 2 1984, while most of the one million residents of Bhopal slept, an operator at the plant noticed a small leak of methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas and increasing pressure inside a storage tank. The vent-gas scrubber, a safety device designer to neutralize toxic discharge from the MIC system, had been turned off three weeks prior. Apparently a faulty valve had allowed one ton of water for cleaning internal pipes to mix with forty tons of MIC. A 30 ton...
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