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Rational Decision Making Practice Exercises

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Updated on Sep 19, 2011

Review the lesson for Rational Decision Making Study Guide.

Rational Decision Making Practice Exercises

Practice Exercise

Which was decided by emotion alone?

  1. Sandy used leftovers from last night's dinner to make her lunch.
  2. Josef upgraded his cell phone because he needed features that allowed him to take photos and e-mail them for his job.
  3. Sasha needed a new computer, so she read reviews, then bought the same brand she had been using.
  4. When Ron moved into his small studio apartment, he needed a TV, so he bought a six-foot-long flat-screen TV for the wall.

Answer

Choice d is an emotion-driven decision. It's not logical for Ron to buy such a large, expensive TV for such a small apartment. (Neighbors might complain about the noise through the wall, too.) He most likely bought the TV because of how it makes him feel, or how he feels about it. Reasoning didn't come into play.

Practice Exercise

Which are examples of bias or stereotyping?

  1. I want to help, so I'll bake cookies for the school party.
  2. Thank you, but we can't let the children eat cookies! People who do end up fat and unhealthy.
  3. I like this blue sweater better than that green one.
  4. Oh, he's nice, but I'd never go out with him; he's a college dropout!
  5. Our team did a fantastic job, but your team got lucky, so we didn't win.

Answer

The answers are 2, 4, and 5. Choices 2 and 4 stereotype groups of people; choice 5 shows bias by downplaying the accomplishment of the other team. Although choice 3 is an opinion, it only shows a preference, not a bias.

Practice Exercise

List some of the effects of stress that can get in the way of decision making.

Answer

Your answers might include some of the following: inability to concentrate; weak short-term memory; focus on the present, rather than the future; tendency to make snap judgments; difficulty accessing stored information; trouble taking in new information.

Practice Exercise

How did this student's ego get in the way?

Rose is taking a course in filmmaking, which he needs to take for his major. Three quarters of his grade are based on a final project, the making of a ten-minute film. Most of the class chose subjects based on their professor's suggestions. However, this student chose to adapt a favorite short story, casting four of his friends in the film. The friends had trouble learning their lines, and it was more difficult to shoot their scenes outdoors than Roger expected. The film was not completed on the due date, and he received a D for the course.

Answer

Never having made a film before, Roger has an exaggerated confidence in his ability, which keeps him from seeing the obvious time limitations of the project. To pass the course, he should have taken the professor's suggestion, like other students, and made a simpler film that could have been finished on time. He could have made the short story adaptation later, on his own time.

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