Duration: 61 Minutes
Is it best to be emotionless and analytical in decision making? When our goal is to be decisive, the answer is a resounding No. Instead, harnessing the power of emotions is critical. Studies of the neural underpinnings of decision making show that our brains start by evaluating options analytically. But very soon—usually based on first impressions—we create an emotional front-runner. We then continue down a path of predecisional distortion, which biases further evaluation. Rather than creating bad decisions, however, this distortion leads to more confident, committed decision making.
This natural process works best for tradeoff conflicts: deciding between current options. It also works well for decisions involving innovation, growth and expansion. But in cases of sequential conflicts—or when the risk of danger or a bad outcome is greater—taking a more analytical approach is the better choice. Dr. Shiv describes specific techniques for gathering data, group decision making, accessing your gut feelings, and knowing when to allow the contrarians to dominate the discussion.
Baba Shiv, whose research is in the area of neuroeconomics, is Director of the Strategic Marketing Management Executive Program at Stanford University and editor of the Journal of Consumer Research. He received his MBA from the Indian Institute of Management and PhD from Duke University.