Table of Contents
Types of biases
Quick decisions can save an individual’s time and energy. However, such reactions can lead to bad decisions. People are prone to biases, in their thinking in everyday life. Biases are the mental shortcuts that allow people to make haste decisions. Biases work well since they are systematic and predictable but turn problematic when individuals rely on them for all decision making, while ignoring other information (Bratton, 2015).
Some of the biases include:
We can do it today.
It entails on relying on the most readily available information to base one’s decisions on. The individual, in this case, misses out on information that is likely to change the decision-making process. Also, it is wrong to make decisions based on readily available information when other people are involved. Yearwood and Stranieri (2012) posit that it is misleading particularly when the information is subjective. For instance, if an individual is asked to rate his performance as compared to that of others, he is likely to rate himself the highest as that is the readily available information to him. However, it is crucial to ask for feedback from others to avoid such bias.
Individuals who seek evidence supporting their beliefs or expectations make decisions influenced by this type of bias. Problems occur when substantial facts are required to support an outcome. As such, disconfirming evidence weakens one’s position.
Rush to save
The desire to make a quick decision makes people not to consider all the possible data before making a decision. Rushed decision making means that an individual has not evaluated all data, available. In this regard, it is important to assess all data avenues before coming to a conclusion.
Persuasion and numbers
The use of statistics or numbers is a powerful method when trying to convince or persuade the audience into agreeing with a decision. Numbers provide a quantitative and objective platform on which a speaker can base his or her argument. In addition, numbers reinforce an idea. The key to efficient use of figures and statistics is to extract meaning and patterns from raw data in a manner that represents logic.
People understand standard frequencies and percentages as opposed to ratios. A speaker needs to use whole numbers if he wants to communicate his message such that it becomes persuasive. For instance, the audience might be more inclined to support a cause that will reduce death rates of 30,000 Americans as opposed to 0.1 Americans. Notably, the figures represent the same population.
Examples of using numbers to convince people
Famous food expert and Chef Jamie Oliver gave a speech about his area of expertise on the TED show. Oliver began by expressing that 4 Americans die every 18 minutes due to food related issues. In this regard, he caught the audience’s attention from the beginning as people were curious to hear why individuals die so frequently due to food in America. Further, Oliver asserted that statistics of bad health are clear. Oliver said that countries such as Mexico, India, Germany, and China had reported high cases of obesity while in America; the disorder causes America 10% of health care bills. A further 150 billion dollars annually goes to treat obesity related cases. In about ten years, the amount is likely to double to 300 billion annually. Oliver drives reinforce his ideas by using statistics to show just how serious food-related health matters could drive Americans to even higher financial losses.
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Facts that have been reported about instances of hunger usually conflict with facts. Such incidents happen since people rely heavily on data, which is not always factual as it is subject to bias and subjectivity. The International Rescue, For example, posits that famine is not always caused by natural disaster. Contrary to what is reported in the media, famine in most cases is human made. Due to the violence and conflict in Sudan and Somali, supply routes are severed causing food prices to skyrocket. As such, famine in East Africa is not as a result of prolonged dry period but because of conflicts and war in the surrounding politically unstable countries.
Fact-based decision making entails putting into consideration primary emphasis on gathering facts, data, evidence, and figures (Lee et al., 2013). Before making a decision, several steps are involved. They include establishing an issue, considering the possibilities, interpreting and selecting alternatives and final decision making. Every individual should rely on facts rather than data and anecdotes when making sound judgments.
Use of big numbers may lead the audience to lose value in a speech. For instance, a speaker may use a large number such as in billions, which may confuse or not make sense at all to the audience. For example, a writer wrote that every penny increase in gasoline price costs American citizens $1.25 billion annually. The amount seems alarming but proper division shows that the price per person per year is equal to $6.25. Such large numbers confuse and do not make the value in a persuasive speech meant to lead to decision-making.
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New Job or Not
I am comfortable with my current position but the new opportunity brings me closer to achieving my life-long dream of a management position. However, there are other people involved in my decision. Firstly, I work within a team. As such, leaving the team could have significant effects since every individual is entrusted with certain responsibilities. I need to consider their feelings about becoming their supervisor since the new position means they will work under me. Secondly, I will consider my spouses feelings about the new position. We were considering expanding the family, particularly having a baby. The new job could affect the idea since I will spend more hours at work than before. It comes with travelling and I might be away for a few times in a month. I also need to consider my other family since I will likely spend less time with them than before.
I need to first evaluate whether I am qualified for the new position. The hours I will be spending in the office and whether I can handle such a challenging position. I should consider if the current relationship between my colleagues and I will be affected since I will be at a higher authority than they are. Good work place relationships are essential to individuals and the company. It is imperative to determine whether I will be more useful to the organization in my current job or the upcoming position. The new job could lessen communication between us as they will view me as their boss. Lastly, I need to evaluate whether the remuneration is commensurate with the new responsibilities.
There is a lot of information missing for the upcoming responsibility. Firstly, I might be working under a new boss, who I have heard is tough. However, it is appropriate to investigate the claims and find out if her goals align with mine and whether indeed she offers a conducive environment to exercise my skills. I am not aware of the full responsibilities attached to the new position. As such I need to conduct a research of all the duties and responsibilities and whether I am in a position to fully satisfy the requirements. The financial remuneration seems rewarding based on my former bosses style of life. However, I am not aware if the pay is worth the Job. Finally, I should ask my colleagues what they think is appropriate before taking on the new challenge. However, I might not find out why my former boss left a position that seems rewarding. In addition, people around me might not reveal their true feelings about the event.
It is worth noting that there are pros and cons to the decisions I make. The job offers a platform to exercise my skills fully for the benefit of the company. Moreover, the salary might bring other welfare benefits, a new car, office and a better life. However, it could take up a lot of my time and take a toll on my relationships with my family and colleagues. In addition, It might take up my time such that I am unable to plan other personal activities for example, if I decide to get in to business myself.
- Bratton, J. (2015). Introduction to Work and Organizational Behaviour. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Yearwood, J., & Stranieri, A. (2012). Approaches for community decision making and collective reasoning: Knowledge technology support. Hershey, PA: Information Science Reference.
- Lee, C. F., Lee, J. C., & Lee, A. C. (2013). Statistics for business and financial economics.