Friday, May 27, 2005

more on decision making

Again, taken from "Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions" by Gary Klein.

(Aside: those Sox just got thrown out twice at home plate, and now Cano just hit a two-run homer to tie it. Grrrr.)

In our last episode, we said that "Recognition-Primed Decisions" (RPD) rely on expertise and experience to make good decisions by considering options in order, taking the first acceptable one that comes to mind. This is called "satisficing", as opposed to "optimizing."
Here are some applications of this theory:

  1. Be skeptical of shortcuts to effective decision-making
  2. Analytical methods may by helpful for inexperienced people
  3. Consider which decisions are worth making (in a zone of indifference, don't kill yourself deciding between two nearly-equal options)
  4. Do not teach the RPD model, since it just shows what experienced decision makers already do.
  5. Improve decision skills. Teaching people to think like experts may be too difficult, but try to teach people to learn like experts. More on this below.
  6. Use decision requirements for designing software systems. Ok, not much use for ultimate, but this is vaguely work-related, so I'm keeping it in.

Here is how experts learn.
  1. They engage in deliberate practice, so that each opportunity for practice has a goal and evaluation criteria.
  2. They compile an extensive experience bank.
  3. They obtain feedback that is accurate, diagnostic, and reasonably timely.
  4. They enrich their experiences by reviewing prior experiences to derive new insights and lessons from mistakes.

(6-3, Yankees, after Sheffield's three-run homer. No outs still. Maybe I should stop typing so they stop scoring.)
So, I think this is just what we were talking about the other day. You fast-track by going out of your way to analyze your performances soon after they happen, or else you just end up with one year of experience, 10 times. And it's not enough just to count successes or failures, but you have to assess the thought processes and the contingencies.


Edward Lee said...

I think Dale Sveum immediately pulled the trigger on a 50% chance of scoring Johnny Damon off a mishandled ground ball, instead of considering the possibility of leading the bases loaded with Manny Ramirez coming up against a pitcher who's starting to tire. Oh well.

parinella said...

Well, I guess he'll learn. Perhaps we should email him and ask him to think about his decision.

Maybe it just looked like the ball was squirting away further from the 2b than it actually did, and thus it was a misreading of the data, rather than the first one, which was just him sending Bellhorn on an infielder playing the outfield.

Anonymous said...

definitely misreading the data -- the ball took a bomber bounce.

and the choice to run on womack was the right one, you have to force the other team to make some plays. dont just sit on your hands like matsui not running on wakefield last year. have to take some risk.

i guess everyone can't have ron washington.

off to the library to see if they have that decision book...


parinella said...

There is a lot to be said for the Bill Walsh style of offense of forcing the defense to make plays.