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The Future of Decision Making

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The Future of Decision Making

How Revolutionary Software Can Improve the Ability to Decide

Palgrave Macmillan,

15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

You can make better decisions – but only if you move past rules and logic.

Editorial Rating



  • Innovative
  • Applicable


Education engineering experts Roger C. Schank, Dimitris Lyras and Elliot Soloway apply their knowledge of cognitive science, computer software and industry to a single purpose: helping you make better decisions. They directly challenge using logic and rationality as they argue for “case-based reasoning.” Their writing is exceptionally clear, which makes the book easy to follow. Its only weakness is that the authors are so positive you can improve your decision making through software that they sometimes make it sound easier than it might be. That aside, this first-rate book’s counsel applies to all fields. getAbstract particularly recommends it to corporate leaders, software designers and those involved in knowledge management.


A New Model for Decision Making

Everyone in your organization wants to make good decisions, but many people make bad ones because they’ve learned the wrong model for decision making. They count on logic, data and “conventional wisdom.” That approach may work in simple situations where information is readily available, but in most instances, it works against you because “decision making is largely an unconscious process.”

To begin to improve your decision making, discard the idea that you’re a rational decision maker. Like all human beings, you make your best assessments intuitively, using a feeling, a “gut instinct” or a hunch. Your best judgments are “based on accumulated experience.” When presented with an issue, your subconscious mind reviews related situations from your past, the choices you made and how those worked, and then it generates new options. The finest decisions “flow from goal conflict adjudication” – juggling several conflicting factors at once – rather than “half-baked logic.” For example, a captain at the helm of a freighter traveling through the Suez Canal knows it’s better to push through than to stop and deal with an onboard boiler fire. Why? ...

About the Authors

Roger C. Schank is a professor emeritus at Northwestern University. Dimitris Lyras founded Ulysses-Systems, a software consultancy. Elliot Soloway is a professor of engineering, information and education at the University of Michigan.

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    D. H. 1 decade ago
    Well, it sounds rather leading edge, and the leading edge holds an attraction for me. Who doesn't want to be a leading edge proprietor, sales person, professional-thing?!?
    DH, Owner, Don Hall & Assoc.
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    A. S. 1 decade ago
    Hope the registration was free :(