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Decision-making is a complex cognitive process aiming at selecting a type of action among various alternatives. The decision is the subject of a theory.


The decision-making concerns all living entities: every individual and group.

Decision-making is a reasoning method that can be based on rational and/or irrational arguments.

This process is activated when we feel the need to act but without knowing how to direct our action. To prefer leaving the decision to chance (to make heads or tails) is also the result of a decision-making.

Making rational decisions is an important aspect of scientific professions. For example in the medical area, decision-making lies in establishing the diagnosis and prescribing the treatment. However, several studies show that in certain situations (quick action required or impossibility to know certain information), some experts can privilege their intuition.

Daily life is full of situations involving decision-making: to organize a weekend, to go shopping, voting...

We cannot "see" a decision; nevertheless the observation of external behavior of a person may inquire about the state of his decision process.

Fundamental Questions regarding Decision-Making

  • Why does a butterfly cross a road?
  • The same question applies to a butterfly crossing a road and also to the author or the reader of these words...

Methods of Decision-Making

  • Not to decide or act - but what has made the decision to do or not to do?
  • To proceed by analyzing (for example by logic);
  • To associate ideas between themselves (for example heuristic map);
  • To rely on our feelings (for example emotional);
  • To look for advice (from a person or group) and consider (for example conciliation or brainstorming);
  • To be accompanied through a process of decision-making (for example mediation);
  • To comply with others;
  • To ask someone else to decide for oneself (for example arbitration);
  • To ask a group to decide for oneself (for example a jury);
  • To negotiate;
  • To look for a consensus, to make compromises;
  • To leave the decision to chance;
  • To impose the arbitrary.
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