Decision-making (1)

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articles / decision-making

1. 6 Reasons We Make Bad Decisions, and What to Do About Them by Mike Erwin, Harvard Business Review, Aug 01, (2019)

Nice and simple summary of the most common reasons we make bad decisions. These are all good points backed by research. Analysis paralysis is probably something I can relate to, while I think that for my kids the steady state of distraction that the new technologies bring, make them unable to pause and consider carefully all the trade-offs of their decisions.

2. Disturbance modifies payoffs in the explore-exploit trade-off, Shay O’Farrell, James N. Sanchirico, Orr Spiegel, Maxime Depalle, Alan C. Haynie, Steven A. Murawski, Larry Perruso & Andrew Strelcheck, Nature Communications, 10, 3363 (2019) 


Decision-making agents face a fundamental trade-off between exploring new opportunities with risky outcomes versus exploiting familiar options with more certain but potentially suboptimal outcomes. Although mediation of this trade-off is essential to adaptive behavior and has for decades been assumed to modulate performance, the empirical consequences of human exploratory strategies are unknown beyond laboratory or theoretical settings. Leveraging 540,000 vessel position records from 2494 commercial fishing trips along with corresponding revenues, here we find that during undisturbed conditions, there was no relationship between exploration and performance, contrary to theoretical predictions. However, during a major disturbance event which closed the most-utilized fishing grounds, explorers benefited significantly from less-impacted revenues and were also more likely to continue fishing. We conclude that in stochastic natural systems characterized by non-stationary rewards, the role of exploration in buffering against disturbance may be greater than previously thought in humans.

The Author

Knowledge architect, futurist, enthusiast of new technologies and innovations, avid reader

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