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Decision Making

Decision making is the cognitive process of selecting a course of action from among multiple alternatives. Common examples include shopping, deciding what to eat, and deciding who or what to vote for in an election or referendum.

Decision making is said to be a psychological construct. This means that although we can never "see" a decision, we can infer from observable behaviour that a decision has been made. Therefore we conclude that a psychological event that we call "decision making" has occurred. It is a construction that imputes commitment to action. That is, based on observable actions, we assume that people have made a commitment to effect the action.

Decision making is an important part of many professions, where specialists apply their expertise in a given area to making informed decisions. For example, medical decision making often involves making a diagnosis and selecting an appropriate treatment.

Due to the large number of considerations involved in many decisions, decision support systems have been developed to assist decision makers in considering the implications of various courses of action. They can help reduce the risk of errors.

Decision making style:
According to Myers (1962), a person's decision making process depends to a significant degree on their cognitive style. Starting from the work of Carl Jung, Myers developed a set of four bi-polar dimensions. The terminal points on these dimensions are: thinking and feeling; extroversion and introversion; judgement and perception; and sensing and intuition. He claimed that a person's decision making style is based largely on how they score on these four dimensions. For example, someone that scored near the thinking, extroversion, sensing, and judgement ends of the dimensions would tend to have a logical, analytical, objective, critical, and empirical decision making style.

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