Is individual decision making a learned or an intuitive skill? What examples of individual decision making resonate with you?

One perspective on individual decison making

Why we make bad decisions | Dan Gilbert

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Can rules and algorithms serve to automate our decisions?

from the Alison Randel article
So the real question isn’t "How do I remove unpredictability and randomness from my business?" It’s "How do I deliberately make and structure decisions to increase the chance that novel ideas or outcomes lead to improvement?"

Three Proven Ways To Navigate Uncertainty by Alison Randel in The Ready, 28 July 2016

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You don't have to read these unless you wish to, but we might touch upon them in conversation

a road(?) to somewhere, from The Guardian
... a decision worked out by a group has a greater tendency to be more effective than that of an individual effort because it is an outcome of collective or cohesive minds. Individual decision making is best left to skilled decision makers. Yet, you might wonder, what about the day-to-day small decisions that only the individual himself should make? Well, these petty situations should mold you in learning to become independent with your decisions.
  1. Read Individual Decision Making, a 2011 article on the topic in Exforsys, a consultancy

The review will be divided into five sections: the theory of riskless choices, the application of the theory of riskless choices to welfare economics, the theory of risky choices, transitivity in decision making, and the theory of games and of statistical decision functions.
  1. If you are interested in this topic in some depth, you may read Edwards, W. (1954). The theory of decision making. (Psychological Bulletin, Vol. 51, No. 4, 1954, p. 380-417.)

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things we'll talk about

  • how do ethics and loyalty impact an individual's likeliness to decide ethically within an organization?
  • what kinds of pressures does an individual have to contend with that an organization does not? (family duties come to mind)
  • are individual decisions within an organization less important than the decisions made by organizations as a whole? more important? the same?
  • could you have made this decision in that situation?

If the session will include an in-class exercise, it will be noted here.

slides for session 10

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something to take away

Como la Cigarra

Mercedes Sosa was both a singer and a political force as one of the prime figures in the Nueva Canción (or Nueva Trova) movement. Her entry in seems to be written by a compatriot, and an obit in The Telegraph speaks a bit of her importance.

Mercedes Sosa, who has died aged 74, was the most renowned Latin-American singer of her generation; she was known as "La Negra" for her long, jet-black hair, and as "the voice of the voiceless ones", for her performances of songs which championed the rights of the poor.

Though not known as a songwriter, she was an unrivalled interpreter of works by her compatriot, the Argentinian Atahualpa Yupanqui, and Chile's Violeta Parra, both icons of the region's nueva canción movement towards the end of the 1960s, whose work often spoke of the struggle for human rights and democracy.

As a figurehead of the Left in her own right, Mercedes Sosa fell foul of the military junta that ruled her nation between 1976 and 1983 ... the object of state surveillance and intimidation by the "Triple A" death squad. At a concert in La Plata in 1979, she and her entire audience of 200 university students were arrested and detained. Although she was released as a result of international condemnation, the incident forced her into exile ...

The song was written by María Elena Walsh.

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