Discuss the factors that influence our judgement, thinking and decision-making

Topics: Decision making, Risk, Logic Pages: 10 (3891 words) Published: January 18, 2014
Discuss some the factors which influence our thinking, judgement and decision-making Our everyday lives are filled with many choices and decisions which will impact on our lives both in the short and long-term. Our perception of the impact of these decisions on our own lives and those around us will affect how much time and effort is given to arriving at these decisions. There are several factors which impact on thinking, judgement and decision-making and it is important to note that often these occur simultaneously rather than as individual areas but in order fully understand the entire process we must analyse the factors in each individual area. While it is neither practicable or possible to consider all the factors in every decision, knowledge of the factors, process and how they interact can be of critical importance. By understanding the factors, we can ascertain how we make decisions and by gaining knowledge on the entire process, we can ultimately arrive at better decisions by being conscious of our thought and application process. How we think and apply our thought process to the decisions often determine the paths we choose to take. There are two systems, or modes, which determine how we think (Kahneman, 2011). The first system is fast, automatic, emotional and frequent and the second system is slow, logical, infrequent and conscious. The title of the Kahneman’s book, Thinking, Fast and Slow, gives us an indication of the two systems. The first system, thinking fast, is associated with quick response taking into consideration the environment in which we are in which then allows us to respond immediately. This can be important especially in times of danger and the system relies heavily on general rules and guidelines, known as heuristics. These heuristics are primarily geared towards helping us in the moment and protecting us from immediate danger and are very useful in this regard. However, the heuristics are designed to work in the environment from which we have evolved and outside of this environment can lead to errors. The second system, slow thinking, is the one we would normally associate with the thought process in the strictest sense. The process is a slow one which is both deliberate and conscious and we would feel that we are in control. The slow system may be used to determine what clothes we will wear today or which shares we should invest in to gain a higher return of investment. While both these systems operate in different ways, they too are interconnected and rely on each other. Any impressions that are formed through system one will be fed into system two. In situations where system one encounters an environment to which it is unfamiliar, it will automatically mobilise system two to give assistance. The information and thought process in system one is crucial in protecting us from day to day; it is nevertheless much less effective for any long term planning. Any short –comings of one system is made up for by the ability of the other system and combined can ensure better outcomes whether in the immediate or longer term. While the way in which we think, using either of the systems or modes of thinking described by Kahneman, is important, so too will logic play an important role in our thought process and how we reach decisions. Deductive reasoning, also known as deductive logic or logical deduction is the process of reasoning from one or more general premises or statements to reach a logical conclusion which is certain. Deductive reasoning makes a clear link between premises and conclusions and it recognises that if all premises are true and the terms are clear and the principles of deductive logic are followed then the conclusion that is reached is true. For example, if all students eat in the canteen, and Martin is a student, then Martin must eat in the canteen. Inductive reasoning, on the other hand, is reasoning whereby the premises would seek to supply strong evidence for the truth of the...

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