All entries for March 2012

March 29, 2012

how to limit bias?

I had this thought that in order to make a robust decision > you have to eliminate/limit bias. What is the easiest way to do that? I would suggest that i.e. during team decision making it should be each individual to acknowledge one's bias and limit it (some help from other members is allowed, though).

In one article, the researchers listed 76 biases and groupped them in 5 categories. How on earth would one control that amount of biases?????? Try to think of them before saying each sentence ;)

What is more, one of the biases was cultural bias. Now this is something I've come across, it's quite obvious in some cases, however it is obvious for listeners, not for the person who is saying.... The battle with bias seems to be lost right at the start...

March 28, 2012

making a decision? take it easy

In one of the articles, I found an interesting way to making a decision - going by default.

Hoy & Tarter (2010, p. 353) wrote:

"As a first step, one should consider the alternative of inaction. At worst, the default will be rejected and the
decision maker forced into action. At best, the problem will disappear without further action, which is unlikely, but does occur"

If you think about it, it's not that rare (at least in my case). Sometimes when I take time to make a decision there might be someone who can help me out and I will come across him/her - just by a chance and the decision will not be a problem any more... Would you agree?

Hoy, W. K., & Tarter. C. J. (2010). Swift and smart decision making: heuristics that work. International Journal of Educational Management, 24 (4), 351-358.

March 27, 2012

how sure are you?

Going through some articles that could be useful for the PMA, in one of them they stated that the outcome of the decision is dependent on many various random and non-controllable and/or non-predictable effects. I guess that it is easy to imagine (imagination bias, yeah I know) for complex issues and decisions related with them.

If this was true, then it could be said that it is impossible to predict the outcome (i.e. success or failure) of the decision - never thought about that, really. We could probably try to estimate success rate, by breaking the issue down into smaller bits, might be difficult but at least gives some expectations.

March 10, 2012

people's aspects of decision making

After the RDM module one thing stayed in my mind. We shouldn't believe in what others say unless we have got evidence, as their views might be biased.

I decided to check it out the other day at work. One of the operators told me he might know the cause of one of our problems. In many cases operators' ideas are helpful. However in this case after he told me the idea I asked him 'is it really the casue?' He kept saying it is and I kept saying it is not, unless he shows me some evidence. It didn't take long before I had to stop this game, as he got more and more frustrated - as he wanted to help and I didn't want to listen. This is a leadership aspect which should be taken into account. It was interesting to see his behaviour in this situation, as normally I wouldn't act like that, thus he acts differently.

March 09, 2012


cherry-picked guesstimate...

March 03, 2012

decision database in your brain

Our decisions are greatly affected by our past experience and knowledge. I noticed that at work, more senior engineers often see bigger picture i.e. of problems we encounter. Because they might have come across then previously, they can act very fast when necessary. On the other hand, we know that our beliefs might be biased.

How does one gain knowledge that is not biased? Is it the case of always acting on data and using it in the future only if the situation is roughly the same? I guess this might be it, I remember that my manager told me once:

if I told you it is raining, you go and check it yourself and then you might say it is raining.

March 2012

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  • I had a think about this entry and I guess we all agree that we can't eliminate bias. On one of the … by on this entry
  • Hey Daniella, I as well think that we were biased right from the start. If we think about the first … by on this entry
  • I agree with you, the battle with bias is lost right from the start because even the process of choo… by Daniella Abena Badu on this entry
  • You know, I'm grappling with this issue at the moment. Judgement biases often occur quickly and subc… by Oritseweyinmi Barber on this entry
  • The truth is, we can never really be absolutely sure of every decision we make, they all come with a… by Oritseweyinmi Barber on this entry

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