Decision Making: Influences of Irrational Forces

Individuals engage in the process of decision making in their daily lives without necessarily thinking, hesitating, worrying, or backtracking. In case the desired interests are not being achieved, the chances are high that panic, uncertainty, self-doubt, and anxiety come in to disrupt the process. Decision-making entails going through various existing options before selecting the best choice, meaning it involves determining the best way to handle an issue. Diagnosing a problem and engaging in a thought process with the aim of taking the proper action is one of the steps towards making the best decision in life. In other words, it includes expressing an opinion whereby an individual is expected to persevere with a course of action in order to triumph over obstacles.

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However, the entire process of making the decision has never been easy in the sense that many people fail to follow the correct procedures leading to faulty judgments. An individual should always know that the decision is personal, implying he or she must get it right. Again, the decision made means a lot to the owner, suggesting that the process should be followed keenly to ensure the results are positive. The outcome of any decision is critical to an individual’s, as it defines the future (“Why we make bad decisions”). In fact, faulty decisions might land an individual into great troubles, especially concerning career development and survival in society. This paper looks at the effects of irrational forces on the decision-making processes. Various podcasts, experimental findings, and conclusions from various studies would be analyzed carefully to determine and explain the process of decision-making. A few personal examples would be given, as well as those of others, as they relate to the process.

From the research findings and the conclusions made by other researchers, it is noted that decision-making is a complex process that calls on the individual to be determined meaning being in a position to make a choice and move on with life. The conclusions from other studies suggest further that discipline is a valued feature of the decision-making process, as it enables tackling issues logically. Thoughtfulness is another factor to consider when engaging in the decision-making process since individuals are expected to view the problem from different angles, especially when the decision is likely to affect other people irrespective of whether it is in the organization, a family set up, or an institution of learning.

Therefore, controlling one’s emotions is a requisite in the sense that it helps in preventing the making of indiscreet responses. In many cases, people make decisions without taking sufficient time leading to serious problems because the mistakes committed would have the potential of bringing down the organization, the family, or the institution (“The surprising science of happiness”).

In this regard, thinking before acting should be a cardinal rule given the fact impulsiveness is likely to cause a downfall even though some findings suggest otherwise meaning it has the likelihood of giving an individual the much-needed energy to respond swiftly to issues. The findings suggest further that analyzing all the available alternatives is mandatory towards making the best decision; something referred to as ‘seeing the wood for the trees’. Before making any decision, appreciating advice from other people is highly encouraged, and an individual has to be prepared to reverse the previous choice. People should know that their choices are not always the best and seeking clarification should be one of the features of the process.

In many times, an individual is always under pressure to deliver the desired result and decisiveness should be taken into consideration meaning being firm in whatever is being pursued. If the decision made is defective or dysfunctional, the individual should simply take responsibility and accept that it was his or her mistake instead of blaming others.

In his book titled predictably irrational, Dan Ariely gave some of the reasons why making choices based on rational thought is unproductive. The writer talked about various ways of thinking and situations that might affect the principles of rational choice theory. In the first chapter, for instance, he focused on the relationship between people and the environment, as far as decision making is concerned. In his view, he suggested that human beings are wired to reason in a certain way whereby comparison of events and the existing options is one of the valued principles. Ariely discussed the decoy effect in detail with an attempt of explaining the decision-making process accurately. For instance, consumers tend to change their preferences any time they are given two options even though the third choice might also be existing (“Are we in control of our own decisions?”).

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He termed the decoy effect the secret agent because each person tends to be controlled by a different thing. In a situation where one of the organizations offers accommodation with free breakfast while the other does not provide such a service, consumers are likely to choose the one that gives them something extra. The extra thing, irrespective of the size, is the decoy. Relativity plays a significant role in helping individuals in going through difficult situations, but it has a negative effect as well because it might make them depressed. Therefore, the decoy effect is one of the irrational forces that influence people’s choices, yet it might harm their belief, principles, and culture.

Human beings have a tendency of comparing their own lives with those of others, which makes them jealous and envious. Again, people will never be satisfied with what they have since they always explore ways through which they could increase their wealth. He gave a solution by suggesting breaking the relativity circle would help people live a comfortable and happier life (“The paradox of choice”).

Cialdini engaged in a study to determine the factors that influence people to act. He particularly researched on persuasion techniques discussing the six major principles including reciprocity rule, commitment, consistency, social proof, liking, and scarcity (Cialdini 37). According to the scholar, the six principles represent the irrational forces that influence individuals to act in a way that might be unpleasant. Reciprocity rule suggests an individual engages in an action to repay what other people did to him or her. In other words, life is a matter of giving and take meaning an individual tends to keep off from activities that do not benefit him or her.

Again, commitment and consistency mean an individual’s behaviour is in line with the social provisions. From personal experience, friends tend to do things that are likely to benefit them, implying each person is always guided by personal interests. While acting in a group, an individual would want his or her view to be adopted mainly because his or her interest would be achieved. This shows that certain forces influence individuals to act, and the aim is always to gain personally. In governments, each department is focused on forcing the highest office to support it, something confirming that personal interests always inform any decision.

Works Cited

Are we in control of our own decisions?Non-profit Sampling Foundation, TED Television, Vancouver, 2008. Web.

The paradox of choice”. Non-profit Sampling Foundation, TED Television, Vancouver, 2005. Web.

The surprising science of happiness”. Non-profit Sampling Foundation, TED Television, Vancouver, 2004. Web.

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Why we make bad decisions”. Non-profit Sampling Foundation, TED Television, Vancouver, 2005. Web.

Cialdini, Robert. Influence. Pymble: HarperCollins, 2009. Print.

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