There are several factors that also influence decision making. These may include “past experiences, cognitive biases, age and individual differences, belief in personal relevance, and an escalation of commitment” (Dietrich, n.d.). Understanding these factors may help us understand their impact on the decision’s outcome.
One of the recent, most significant, decision making process that went awry for me was related to the car that I currently drive. About eleven months ago, I had decided to purchase a new car. However, like most people, I was immediately faced with a tough choice of whether to lease or finance the vehicle. Not having had an opportunity to purchase a brand new or used car in the past, I lacked the proper knowledge behind the concept of leasing/financing a car. Historically I only had an option of financing, or buying a used car right out.
In a typical decision making process there are five general steps; identify your goal, gather information for weighing your options, consider the consequences, make your decision, and evaluate your decision (Gray, 2011). In my particular scenario, my goal was clearly defined as to buy a new Toyota Corolla...
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...ously, everyone is biased towards the decision that they’ve already made. I have to define what my criteria are and use the suggestions only if they first satisfy my goal/criteria. Another pitfall that I found during my decision-making journey was the overwhelming abundance of information. Since, to me, the decision of leasing versus financing varies from person to person, so does the explanation / reason behind it. By examining all these explanations, I forced myself in a state of analysis-paralysis, which “occurs when an individual becomes so lost in the process of examining and evaluating various points of data that he/she is unable to make a decision with it” (Investopedia, n.d.). Eventually, during my analysis-paralysis phase, I became increasingly frustrated and made a decision in haste by just relying on information which necessarily was not applicable to me.
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