DECISION MAKING

When making a decision very seldom do we think of the different elements that are involved in the decision making process. Decisions have measurable uncertainty and unmeasurable uncertainty. Measurable uncertainty also called risk, is a decision where the probabilities of potential outcomes are known or can be estimated. The second type of uncertainty is unmeasurable uncertainty or ambiguity which we do not know the probabilities and cannot estimate those outcome probabilities. A client may also have ambivalence or a resistance to change that impedes the decision making process. The process of thoughts, feelings, and emotions must also be evaluated. The use of the following models are used by this firm, though not all inclusive. Even though George Engel's biopsychosocial model is an expansion of the medical model, this model is taken into account with the decision making process. In recent times cultural and spiritual elements have been added. It is only common sense that elements in this model has an affect on our decisions.

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Abraham Maslow developed a hierarchy of needs model whose premise is that human beings are motivated to achieve certain needs. The five needs are physiological, safety, love/belonging, esteem, and self-actualization. Lacking in any of these needs also affects our decision making process. Another model developed by DiClemente & Prochaska is the transtheoretical model of intentional human behavior change that involves a process that occurs in increments. Part of this model involves a progression of five stages of change. These stages are precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, taking action, and maintenance. Miller & Rollnick developed an evidence based approach to overcoming ambivalence about change. This change is brought about by motivation and commitment. In 1979, Kahneman & Tversky published a paper Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision Under Risk. These authors explained various divergences of economic decision making. Their theory is called prospect theory which uses two concepts. These concepts are probability weighting which states that people treat some changes in probability as more important than others; and reference dependence means that people make decisions based on the perceived changes from some reference point. Certain elements of the models mentioned are used when working with our clients, depending on their individual needs. Note that we are not psychologists or medical doctors, nor do we treat any illness. Please contact a professional. We consult regarding training, decision making, reducing stress, and financial matters. We look forward in working with you and your decision making process.