Indian Traditions for Decision Making and Management of Stress13th February 2020
There are four stages in rational and logical decision making.
- Identify and Define Decision Stimulus and Identify Decision Objectives
A decision stimulus can be a problem (a situation that causes difficulties) or an opportunity (a chance to do something). Problem solving is a type of decision making in which the decision stimulus is a problem.
After identifying the problem, sufficient information should be obtained to clearly define the problem, classify the problem (urgent or nonurgent; routine or nonroutine) and understand its causes.
Ineffective reactions to a problem include complacency (not seeing or ignoring the problem), defensive avoidance (denying the importance of the problem or denying any responsibility for taking action) and panic reaction (becoming very upset and frantically seeking a solution). The effective reaction to a problem is deciding to decide. The bias of giving too much weight to readily available information precludes the search for additional information and prevents clear definition of the problem.
After defining the problem, the desired end-results, the expected outcomes or decision objectives of problem solving should be identified.
- Develop Decision Alternatives
Alternative courses of action that are appropriate to the problem should be identified. The more important the problem, the more time and effort should be devoted to the development of decision alternatives. Brainstorming is a technique for creative generation of as many decision alternatives as possible without evaluating them.
Bounded rationality means that the rationality of decision makers is limited by their beliefs, values, attitudes, education, habits and unconscious reflexes and incomplete information. Hence, decision makers usually satisfice or accept the first satisfactory alternative they uncover, rather than maximize or search until they find the best alternative.
- Evaluate the Decision Alternatives and Select the Best Alternative
Each decision alternative should be evaluated for its feasibility, effectiveness and efficiency (cost-effectiveness analysis). The alternative which has the highest levels of these qualities should be selected.
Decision makers use heuristics, rules of thumb or judgmental shortcuts in decision making to reduce information processing demands. These shortcuts can lead to biased decisions. Availability heuristic is the tendency for people to base judgment on information that is readily available to them. Recent, vivid and emotional events are more easily recalled. Representative heuristic is the tendency to assess the likelihood of an occurrence by trying to match it with a pre-existing category. Anchoring and adjustment heuristic is the tendency to be influenced by an initial figure even when the information is largely irrelevant. Framing is the tendency to make different decisions depending on how a problem is presented. Prospect theory means that decision makers find the prospect of an actual loss more painful than giving up the possibility of a gain.
Intuition is an innate belief about something without conscious consideration. Escalation of commitment is staying of a decision maker with a decision even when i appears to be wrong. Risk propensity is the extent to which a decision maker is willing to take risk in making a decision.
- Implement the Decision and Evaluate Outcomes
The best decision alternative is implemented and its effectiveness is evaluated. If the people who implement the decision are involved in decision making they understand and accept it and are motivated to implement it.
Management of Stress
Stress management is a wide spectrum of techniques and psychotherapies aimed at controlling a person’s level of stress, especially chronic stress, usually for the purpose of and for the motive of improving everyday functioning. In this context, the term ‘stress’ refers only to a stress with significant negative consequences, or distress in the terminology advocated by Hans Selye, rather than what he calls eustress, a stress whose consequences are helpful or otherwise.
Stress produces numerous physical and mental symptoms which vary according to each individual’s situational factors. These can include physical health decline as well as depression. The process of stress management is named as one of the keys to a happy and successful life in modern society. Although life provides numerous demands that can prove difficult to handle, stress management provides a number of ways to manage anxiety and maintain overall well-being.
Despite stress often being thought of as a subjective experience, levels of stress are readily measurable, using various physiological tests, similar to those used in polygraphs.
Many practical stress management techniques are available, some for use by health professionals and others, for self-help, which may help an individual reduce their levels of stress, provide positive feelings of control over one’s life and promote general well-being. Other stress reducing techniques involve adding a daily exercise routine, spending quality time with family and pets, meditation, finding a hobby, writing your thoughts, feelings, and moods down and also speaking with a trusted one about what is bothering you. It is very important to keep in mind that not all techniques are going to work the same for everyone, that is why trying different stress managing techniques is crucial in order to find what techniques work best for you. An example of this would be, two people on a roller coaster one can be screaming grabbing on to the bar while the other could be laughing while their hands are up in the air (Nisson). This is a perfect example of how stress effects everyone differently that is why they might need a different treatment. These techniques do not require doctors approval but seeing if a doctors technique works better for you is also very important.
Evaluating the effectiveness of various stress management techniques can be difficult, as limited research currently exists. Consequently, the amount and quality of evidence for the various techniques varies widely. Some are accepted as effective treatments for use in psychotherapy, while others with less evidence favoring them are considered alternative therapies. Many professional organizations exist to promote and provide training in conventional or alternative therapies.
There are several models of stress management, each with distinctive explanations of mechanisms for controlling stress. Much more research is necessary to provide a better understanding of which mechanisms actually operate and are effective in practice.