This article examines various aspects that should be considered when engaging in any type of decision-making process.

Getting Started

Appropriate Subject Area(s):

Careers, business studies; any area that involves having to make serious, consequential decisions

Key Questions to Explore:

  • What are the critical decision-making criteria?
  • What unnoticed biases may be at play?

New Terminology:

Hindsight bias, resulting fallacy

Materials Needed:

Copies of the article for the students

Study and Discussion Activity

Introduction to lesson and task:

We all are faced with critical decisions at some point in our lifetime. Frequently, when young, we lack a disciplined and thoughtful way of determining which alternative is best. As we gain experience in this area, we develop a comfort with a certain approach to decision-making. With this comfort, however, can come unnoticed biases which affect our decisions. This article examines decision-making and some of the aspects that affect our ultimate choice. This lesson will have the students consider their decision-making strategies, compare them to those of their peers and then examine other considerations which should be examined during a decision-making process.

Action (lesson plan and task):

  • Begin the lesson by asking the students to take a moment and think of a time when they were asked to make an important choice or decision.
  • Have volunteers offer their example.
  • Once some of these have been given, ask the students, without consulting others, to write down their preferred decision- making process – in other words, what things do you consider before you make your choice and how do you sort those items?
  • Once they have done this, pair up the students and have them exchange their ideas.
  • With this completed, have each pair join another pair and repeat the process, with each student noting items of interest to them personally.
  • Conduct a plenary session during which the foursomes report back to the class as a whole and present ideas that they found important and interesting.

Consolidation of Learning:

  • Hand out copies of the article to the foursomes, ask them to read and discuss it and prepare their reactions for a brief report to the class.
Success and Additional Learning

Success Criteria:

The students will:

  • demonstrate an appreciation of the need to have an effective decision-making process;
  • indicate an understanding of some of the biases that may enter into any decision-making process.

Confirming Activity:

  • Have each of the foursomes report their reactions to the article and then hold a plenary session during which time the students can indicate how these discussions have affected their personal decision-making process.