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Decision making algorithm

Each of us in everyday life constantly makes decisions. Almost always, the basis of decisions is copying one’s own or third-party experience. Sometimes the basis of such decisions is their own subjective judgment, interpretation of input data, information. What is useful for the average person and specialist to know when making decisions independently in the professional sphere and in life? What pitfalls inevitably fail our judgment?

She remembered the words of the dying Colonel Zafar:
“A trap of consciousness … fear secret desires,”
they heard a warning.
Frederick Paul, Jack Williamson, Space Reefs

The decision-making process can be divided into the following stages:

0. The purpose of analytical decision making

The task of any actions of an existing personality is, first of all, to maintain their safety, not to lose those having the means of survival. To not be worse than it is now. And only if the current reality has real discomfort: it directly threatens the physical integrity of the object or is psychologically unbearable (there is an awareness of a future threat) – the purpose of making a decision is to improve the situation. They do not seek good from good.

An example of such an idea is T. Kuhn’s theory of scientific revolutions, when the existing scientific paradigm (a comprehensive theory of a separate industry) is no longer able to solve new problems and scientists begin to search for a new concept, try to carry out a scientific revolution.

decision algorithm
The stability of current value systems (human ethics), as ways of making current decisions and the current model of behavior, is unusually strong. This is a mechanism for maintaining the integrity of the “I” and long-term self-confidence (according to C. Horney).

Each of us observed an acute reaction of a person to criticism, an ardent challenge of our own point of view, or heated discussions of objects of creativity. Loss of self-confidence is characterized by severe depression, apathy, attenuation, death of a person on a physical level.

When there is no unconditional motive to make a better decision than yesterday, the decision will be made by replication, repetition. This is either a repetition of one’s experience (arising from an orientational reflex), an action without making a decision, on an automatic, reflex level. Or copying third-party behavior (herd reflex). Such a simplification of decision making without an independent analysis of the situation is an optimization of the load of thinking.

To search for a qualitatively different, better solution you need:

Have (or consciously form) a sincere (unconditional) motive to change the situation.
Critically identify the problems brought by the current value system – as reserves of efficiency and necessary goals.
Admit your mistake and local defeat.
Without this, a critical assessment of the situation, the search and comprehension of new information simply will not be carried out.

1. The construction of decision-making procedures

It is convenient to optimize the time and effort spent directly on the analysis procedure according to the principles of time management. Different authors distinguish various specific recommendations depending on the context of the work. To develop a solution, I use these:

Work planning and results.
Concentration at a particular stage.
Systematization of results.
Efficiency mark.
2. Accurate focus on the solution object

This is the allocation of the totality of the characteristics of the phenomenon, its signs, which are possible and necessary to understand, measure and comprehend to assess the current state of the phenomenon and the necessary actions to change it. Such a combination of features is the essence of the phenomenon, the problems on which work is underway.

If a person identifies negative feelings from smoking with the wrong brand of cigarettes, then his further decisions will not bring success. If, as an object of solution, a struggle with a habit, then the result is almost possible. It is already better if, as an object of assessment, the psychological state requires relaxation – then working on yourself can bring better results. But if the object is a direct threat due to smoking a specific goal: championship in running, successful pregnancy. That assessment of the necessary information and the development of an adequate solution occurs almost instantly.

3. Methodology for the interpretation of information. Identification of causal relationships, their generalization

Consciously or not, a person presents any phenomenon as a system:

1) A characteristic feature (or group of features) is identified that isolates an object from a more general population. These internal factors form the essence of the phenomenon as “essence-in-itself”, regardless of the external environment

A person from a group of persons, the desired bank from a community of banks, or the parameters of a bank card from a collection of payment cards.

2) The role of the object is identified relative to the external environment – other objects of equal value, defining the phenomenon as a “function-in-a-larger system”. The interaction of such equivalent objects forms an object of the highest rank.

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