Why Don't We Naturally Make Good Decisions?


Program Highlights 

  • The endowment effect, the conjunction fallacy, and anchoring—natural human tendencies that lead to bad decisions, every time.
  • Why we tend to disregard probability when making a decision under uncertainty.
  • How impatience, stress, willpower and empathy influence action.

Decision making cuts across all human activities. Yet we rarely study—much less apply—the fundamental thinking processes that should be undertaken before we make important decisions. Most of us can't stop our emotions from ultimately having more sway than our rational deliberation. Dr. Howard has spent much of his career studying this struggle between instinct and logic, and provides insights as well as practical suggestions for improving the quality of our decision making.

Dr. Howard describes the elements of high-quality decisions: proper framing, clear alternatives, appropriate information, considered preferences, and the logic necessary for an uncertain world. By understanding the critical distinction between decisions and outcomes, and using effective decision analysis tools, we can increase our clarity of action in the personal and professional decisions that shape our lives and organizations.

Dr. Ron Howard is a professor of management science and engineering and is also a professor by courtesy in the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University, where he was one of the founders of decision analysis as an academic discipline.

Why Don't We Naturally Make Good Decisions?

Ron Howard

Professor, Stanford Graduate School of Business


49 Minutes