Decision Making Process
"Decision making may take place by default; that is, without consciously
recognizing that an opportunity for decision-making exists. This fact leads us to an important first element in a definition
of decision-making. To have a decision-making situation, there must be at least two alternatives available. If only one course
of action is available, there can be no decision-making, for there is nothing to decide. We would have no alternative but
to proceed with the single available course of action. (One might agree, however, that it is a rather unusual situation when
there are no alternatives course of action. More frequently, alternatives simply are not recognized.) "
At this point we might conclude that the decision-making process consists of choosing from among alternative courses of
action. But this is an inadequate definition. Consider the following:
- At a horse race, a bettor was uncertain which of the five horses to bet on in the next race. He closed his eyes and pointed
his finger at the list of horses printed in the racing program. Upon opening his eyes, he saw that he was pointing to horse
number four. He hurried off to place his bet on horse number four.
Does the race horse selection represent the process of decision-making? Yes, it clearly was a process of choosing among
alternatives (assuming the bettor had already ruled out the do-nothing alternative of placing no bet). But, the decision-making
process described seems inadequate and irrational. We want to deal with rational decision-making."