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PSYB57H3 (376)
Chapter 11

chapter 11 notes

8 Pages
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Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSYB57H3
Professor
Gabriela Ilie

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PSYB57- Chapter 11- Making decisions
Decision making refers to the mental activities that take place in choosing among
alternatives,
Decisions are made when there is some sort of uncertainty
The goodness of decisions making cant be measured by the success of the
individual decisions; instead rational decision making can yield success; its defined
as selecting ways of thinking and acting to serve your ends or goals or moral
imperatives
Cognitive overload is when the info available overwhelms the cognitive processing
available
Phases of decision making
5 diff categories of decision making tasks
These tasks occur in a particular order but there may be cycles to an order in which
certain tasks are revisited and redone
Phases is used to convey the ideas that there may or may not be a set order to the
tasks, that the performance of one task can overlap with the performance of another,
that some tasks can be skipped and that tasks can be done in diff orders
Setting Goals
The persons goals influence why they make a certain decision
Gathering info
Person needs to know what the various options are
Ex. what are the likely consequences of each option both short and long term?
People may need to gather info about possible criteria to use in making their choice
Structuring the decision
For complex decisions, people need a way of organizing all their info; this is true
when there are a lot of options and lots of considerations to be used in making the
decision
Making a final choice
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After gathering all the info, the decision maker needs to select from the final set of
options
Ex. could flip a coin or it could be more complex; this process may involve other
decisions like deciding when to stop the info gathering phase or deciding which info
is more relevant or reliable
Evaluating
Evaluation of the entire process
Aim is to reflect on the process and identify those aspects that could be improved
Basic concepts of probability
Most real life decisions involve estimating the chances or odds of diff outcomes and
events
Probability can be thought of as a measurement of a degree of uncertainty; # b/w 0
and 1
Subjective probabilities are influenced by characteristics of the probability
estimator; objective probabilities are not; in real life situations, there may be no
objective probabilities available
Cognitive illusions in decision making
Biases- ways of thinking that lead to systematic errors; can lead to error when
misapplied; these systematic errors are known as cognitive illusions
We can consider these illusions errors in the sense that ones percept does not
correspond with whats really out there
Errors in decision making tell us something about the ways people gather, sort, and
integrate the info they use for making a choice
Something is a cognitive illusion only if there is a correct way of answering a
question or making a decision, there is also an intuitive estimate or decision, and
there is a discrepancy b/w the 2 that always goes in the same direction
Answers that randomly fluctuate around the correct value do not count as illusions
Availability
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Tversky and Kahneman argued that when faced with the task of estimating
probability, frequency or numeroisity, people rely on shortcuts or rules of thumb
known as heuristics
One heuristic is known as availability heuristic- instances that are more easily
thought of, remembered, or computed stand out more in ones mind
Our own efforts and behaviours are more apparent and available to us than are the
efforts and behaviours of others
Availability can be both efficient and effective heuristic
Ex of your own work are likely to be more memorable and more available to you than
ex of others work
Representativeness
People generally expect that a random process (flipping a coin) will always produce
results that are random looking; they expect the results to be representative of the
process that generated. People who make these judgements are using the
representative heuristic
Exp by Kahneman and Tversky- assigned participants into 3 conditions: base rate
(where they asked them to guess the % of first year graduates in US now enrolled in
each of the 9 fields), similarity (where they were presented with personality
sketches and were asked to rank the 9 fields in terms of how similar Tom W. is to a
typical graduate student in each field) and prediction (where they were also given
a personality sketch but were asked to predict for each field the likelihood that Tom
was currently a graduate student in it)
Results showed that similarity and likelihood ratings were very similar suggesting
the use of representative heuristic
Framing effects
Driving down the road, you notice your car is running low on gasoline, and you see
two service stations, both advertising gasoline. Station As price is $1.00 per liter;
station Bs, $0.95 per liter. Station As sign also announces, 5 cents/liter discount for
cash! Station Bs sign announces, 5 cents/liter surcharge for credit cards. All other
factors being equal (for example, cleanliness of the stations, whether you like the
brand of gasoline carried, number of cars waiting at each), to which station would
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Description
PSYB57- Chapter 11- Making decisions Decision making refers to the mental activities that take place in choosing among alternatives, Decisions are made when there is some sort of uncertainty The goodness of decisions making cant be measured by the success of the individual decisions; instead rational decision making can yield success; its defined as selecting ways of thinking and acting to serve your ends or goals or moral imperatives Cognitive overload is when the info available overwhelms the cognitive processing available Phases of decision making 5 diff categories of decision making tasks These tasks occur in a particular order but there may be cycles to an order in which certain tasks are revisited and redone Phases is used to convey the ideas that there may or may not be a set order to the tasks, that the performance of one task can overlap with the performance of another, that some tasks can be skipped and that tasks can be done in diff orders Setting Goals The persons goals influence why they make a certain decision Gathering info Person needs to know what the various options are Ex. what are the likely consequences of each option both short and long term? People may need to gather info about possible criteria to use in making their choice Structuring the decision For complex decisions, people need a way of organizing all their info; this is true when there are a lot of options and lots of considerations to be used in making the decision Making a final choice www.notesolution.com
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