Scientific Decision Making Process

Topics: Cognition, Risk, Decision theory Pages: 3 (1008 words) Published: January 14, 2011
What is a scientific decision making process?

Scientific decision making is the study of identifying and choosing alternatives based on the values and preferences of the decision maker. Scientific decision making involves a cognitive process where each step follows in a logical order from the one before. Making a scientific decision implies that there are alternative choices to be considered, and in such a case we want not only to identify as many of these alternatives as possible but to choose the one that (1) has the highest probability of success or effectiveness and (2) best fits with our goals, desires, lifestyle, values, and so on.

Scientific decision making is the process of sufficiently reducing uncertainty and doubt about alternatives to allow a reasonable choice to be made from among them. This definition stresses the information-gathering function of decision making. It should be noted here that uncertainty is reduced rather than eliminated. Very few decisions are made with absolute certainty because complete knowledge about all the alternatives is seldom possible. Thus, every decision involves a certain amount of risk. If there is no uncertainty, you do not have a decision. Steps in a rational decision making model

1. Identify the decision to be made together with the goals it should achieve. Determine the scope and limitations of the decision. Is the new job to be permanent or temporary or is that not yet known (thus requiring another decision later)? Is the new package for the product to be put into all markets or just into a test market? How might the scope of the decision be changed--that is, what are its possible parameters? When thinking about the decision, be sure to include a clarification of goals: We must decide whom to hire for our new secretary, one who will be able to create an efficient and organized office. Or, we must decide where to go on vacation, where we can relax and get some rest from the fast pace of society. 2. Get...
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