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A Mind-Blowing Exploration on How to Make Better Decisions


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Have you ever watched a medical drama with scenes featuring doctors making split second, life-or-death decisions? As software professional, there may be less at stake when it comes to your decisions, yet you often need to act under time pressure, limited information, and conditions of uncertainty. How do you decide whether a particular course of action will help or harm your project? Are you rational: Do you identify, weigh and compare your options? Or are your decisions more intuitive: Do you size up the situation quickly and simply “know” how to act? Are you aware that—as a human being—your decisions are often susceptible to systematic biases? Through examples drawn from both the medical profession and his work as a software tester, Iain explores alternative decision-making models, the role of intuition, the cultivation of expertise, and debiasing decisions. Join Iain for a mind-blowing dive into how people make choices despite looming uncertainty and potentially dire consequences of a mistake.

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A Mind-Blowing Exploration on How to Make Better Decisions

  1. 1.   BW9 Concurrent Session  11/13/2013 3:45 PM            "A Mind-Blowing Exploration on How to Make Better Decisions"       Presented by: Iain McCowatt Barclays                 Brought to you by:        340 Corporate Way, Suite 300, Orange Park, FL 32073  888‐268‐8770 ∙ 904‐278‐0524 ∙ ∙
  2. 2. Iain McCowatt Barclays Iain McCowatt is a software testing expert whose experience and passion for testing spans multiple industries and more than a decade. Iain specializes in helping client organizations solve difficult testing problems on large and complex enterprise IT projects. In this role, his greatest revelation in recent years is that the single most important contributor to success or failure is people—in particular how they think and react to problems. Therefore, Iain is dedicated to better understanding how we make decisions—and what can get in the way. Iain is active in the software testing community, serves as a volunteer instructor with the Association of Software Testing, and blogs at  
  3. 3. 9/9/13   A  Mind-­‐Blowing  Explora6on:   How  to  Make  Be<er  Decisions   ©  Can  Stock  Photo  Inc.  /  frenta   Iain  McCowa<   h<p://   @imccowa<   imccowa<       Introduc6on   Melissa’s     story   Ge#y  Images   1  
  4. 4. 9/9/13   Introduc6on   Fast     Effortless     Unconscious     More  suscep6ble   to  bias     David  Plunkert,  New  York  Times   Slow     Hard     Conscious     Less  suscep6ble   to  bias       Introduc6on   How  do  you   make  decisions?   Flikr/Daniel  Dale   2  
  5. 5. 9/9/13   System  2:  Analy6cal  Reasoning   Op6ons   •  Iden6fy  Op6ons   •  Iden6fy  Criteria   Criteria   •  Weight  Criteria   Scoring   Decide   •  Score  Op6ons   •  Select  Highest  Scoring  Op6on   System  1:  Intui6on   Mental   Models   Situa6on   using   your   generates   Mental   Simula6on   which     you   assess   by   Ac6on   Ac6on   Scripts   Scripts   to  affect  the   Cues   that  you  recognize  as   that  ac6vate   Pa<erns   Recogni6on  Primed  Decision  Making  (Klein)   3  
  6. 6. 9/9/13   From  Intui6on  to  Analysis:  Explica6ng  Cues   Meanwhile,  back   at  the  NICU…   From  Analysis  to  Intui6on:  Teaching  Intui6on   Cardio  triage   in  a   Michigan  ER   4  
  7. 7. 9/9/13   Boos6ng  Your  Intui6ve  Exper6se   Understand  the   decision   requirements  of   your  role     Istockphoto/Onur  Döngel   Boos6ng  Your  Intui6ve  Exper6se   Learn  the  cues:   indica6ons  &   contraindica6ons   5  
  8. 8. 9/9/13   Boos6ng  Your  Intui6ve  Exper6se   Study  mental   models:  choose,   invent,  adapt   Boos6ng  Your  Intui6ve  Exper6se   Prac6ce,  and  play   decision  making   games   6  
  9. 9. 9/9/13   Boos6ng  Your  Intui6ve  Exper6se   Get  (the  right  kind  of)  feedback   The  Last  Word   7  
  10. 10. 9/9/13   Ques6ons?   Iain  McCowa<   h<p://   @imccowa<   imccowa<       Further  Reading   Bazerman,  M.H.  (2005).  Judgment  in  Managerial  Decision  Making.   Croskerry,  P.  (2009).  A  Universal  Model  for  DiagnosIc  Reasoning.     Gigerenzer,  G.  (2008).  Gut  Feelings.   Groopman,  J.  (2007).  How  Doctors  Think.   Kahneman,  D.  and  Klein,  G.  (2009).  CondiIons  for  IntuiIve  ExperIse:  A  Failure  to  Disagree.   Klein,  G.  (1999).  Sources  of  Power:  How  People  Make  Decisions.   Klein,  G.  (2003).  The  Power  of  IntuiIon.     McCowa<,  I.  (2012).  The  Validity  of  the  TesIng  Environment.   McCowa<,  I.  (2012).  Doctor,  Doctor.     Simon,  H.  (1956).  RaIonal  Choice  and  the  Structure  of  the  Environment.     8