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<xTITLE>Judgment call: everyone benefits when decision making is improved</xTITLE>

Judgment call: everyone benefits when decision making is improved

by Diane J. Levin

Diane J. Levin

Diane J. Levin

Time to address bad decision making

In a recently published paper, experts in decision making Dolly Chugh, Katherine L. Milkman, and Max Bazerman asked an important question, “How Can Decision Making Be Improved?” (PDF):

We propose that the time has come to move the study of biases in judgment and decision making beyond description and toward the development of improvement strategies. While a few important insights about how to improve decision making have already been identified, we argue that many others await discovery. We hope judgment and decision-making scholars will focus their attention on the search for improvement strategies in the coming years, seeking to answer the question: how can we improve decision making?

They explained why the question matters, particularly today:

Errors are costly: We believe the importance of this question is somewhat self evident: decisions shape important outcomes for individuals, families, businesses, governments, and societies, and if we knew more about how to improve those outcomes, individuals, families, businesses, governments, and societies would benefit. After all, errors induced by biases in judgment lead decision makers to undersave for retirement, engage in needless conflict, marry the wrong partners, accept the wrong jobs, and wrongly invade countries.

(And, dare I say, make poor choices in the voting booth.)

Although the development of strategies to combat poor decision making won’t come in time for this election (or to undo the subprime mortgage crisis), this is an encouraging step forward. I can only hope that experts in behavioral decision making answer the challenge — and that the public actually pays attention when they do.

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Biography


Diane Levin, J.D., is a mediator, dispute resolution trainer, negotiation coach, writer, and lawyer based in Marblehead, Massachusetts, who has instructed people from around the world in the art of talking it out. Since 1995 she has helped clients resolve disputes involving tort, employment, business, estate, family, and real property issues, and serves on numerous mediation panels, including the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Training and coaching are an enduring passion -- she has taught thousands of people to resolve conflict, negotiate better, or become mediators -- from Croatian judges to Fortune 500 executives.

 

A geek at heart, Levin consults on web design and social media to professionals.  She blogs about ADR at the intersection of law, science, and popular culture at the award-winning MediationChannel.com, regarded as one of the world's top ADR blogs.  She also tracks and catalogues ADR blogs world-wide at ADRblogs.com, where she has created a community for bloggers writing about constructive ways to resolve disputes.

 

web site: http://dianelevin.com



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