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How Can Decision Making Be Improved?

  • Katherine Lyford Milkman

    ()

    (Harvard Business School)

  • Dolly Chugh

    ()

    (New York University, Stern School of Business)

  • Max H. Bazerman

    ()

    (Harvard Business School, Negotiation, Organizations & Markets Unit)

The optimal moment to address the question of how to improve human decision making has arrived. Thanks to fifty years of research by judgment and decision making scholars, psychologists have developed a detailed picture of the ways in which human judgment is bounded. This paper argues that the time has come to focus attention on the search for strategies that will improve bounded judgment because decision making errors are costly and are growing more costly, decision makers are receptive, and academic insights are sure to follow from research on improvement. In addition to calling for research on improvement strategies, this paper organizes the existing literature pertaining to improvement strategies, highlighting promising directions for future research.

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File URL: http://www.hbs.edu/research/pdf/08-102.pdf
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Paper provided by Harvard Business School in its series Harvard Business School Working Papers with number 08-102.

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Length: 12 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2008
Date of revision: Jul 2008
Handle: RePEc:hbs:wpaper:08-102
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Web page: http://www.hbs.edu/

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  1. Cooper, Arnold C. & Woo, Carolyn Y. & Dunkelberg, William C., 1988. "Entrepreneurs' perceived chances for success," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 97-108.
  2. Shlomo Benartzi & Richard Thaler, 2007. "Heuristics and Biases in Retirement Savings Behavior," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 81-104, Summer.
  3. Cass R. Sunstein & Richard H. Thaler, 2003. "Libertarian paternalism is not an oxymoron," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 48(Jun).
  4. Thompson, Leigh & Gentner, Dedre & Loewenstein, Jeffrey, 2000. "Avoiding Missed Opportunities in Managerial Life: Analogical Training More Powerful Than Individual Case Training," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 60-75, May.
  5. Katherine L. Milkman & Todd Rogers & Max H. Bazerman, 2007. "Highbrow Films Gather Dust: A Study of Dynamic Inconsistency and Online DVD Rentals," Harvard Business School Working Papers 07-099, Harvard Business School, revised Apr 2008.
  6. Shiv, Baba & Fedorikhin, Alexander, 1999. " Heart and Mind in Conflict: The Interplay of Affect and Cognition in Consumer Decision Making," Journal of Consumer Research, University of Chicago Press, vol. 26(3), pages 278-92, December.
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