We are familiar with using different Logical Views (models) in the course of decision-making.
For example, people often consider technical parameters of a “thing” and economic parameters (price, cost of using, etc.). These are examples of different Views, each one is logically bound, but there is no logical binding between two of them, at least there is no binding of which we are aware. We often assume that such logical binding could be found, but no one takes time to find it, and, in the majority of cases, such logical binding does not exist.
In practically all instances of decision-making, Logical Views are used as supporting tools. The final step of decision-making deploys something else, not logic.
When Logical Views are prepared, they are prepared as tools:
· they are checked for suitability,
· tried out,
· dismissed or modified,
Expanded Logical Views are carefully described to be used for making of other decisions.
Logical Views are used to acquire better understanding of the situation (including understanding of priorities of people involved in the decision-making) and to exclude some unacceptable variants of the decision. Benefits of building and expanding of Logical Views are universally recognized: sciences and mathematics are supported, ability to think logically is highly encouraged, and logical thinking is trained in schools.
However, it is practically impossible to show the need to include a particular Logical View in the process of a particular decision-making. Selection of the set of Logical Views needed to make a decision is a part of the decision-making process and it cannot be done just using logic.
Integration of the knowledge, which we gain using Logical Views, is not logical - otherwise we would use only one Logical View.
Selecting the moment, when the decision-making process has to stop, and the decision has to be made, because we have enough understanding of the situation, enough information about it, and delaying decision seems to be detrimental to its quality, is not logical also.
Hence, it seems that we use Logical Views as a tool of integration of logic into decision-making process to a degree it is possible. It seems that it is a useful method. However, skills of selecting and developing Logical Views, integrating of knowledge into one decision, and finalizing the decision-making process are acquired with experience of making decisions. Unfortunately, the importance of “not logical” side of the decision-making process is rarely emphasized or even discussed.
Usually, a poor decision is attributed to poor logic, because, when consequences of a decision become obvious, it is easy to build a special Logical View, where mistakes of such decision are seen clearly.
As one could see, any real life decision is associated with high degree of uncertainty. When someone “definitely knows”, which decision is the right one, and which is the wrong one, there is very large chance, that he does not understand the situation. We could call it “The Principle of Uncertainty” in decision-making.
There is some general approach to deal with uncertainty, though:
· run small experiments and gain better understanding on the way,
· try to look at the situation from a few different points of view,
· examine consequences of different variants of actions.
This approach would be advisable in decision-making also. Hence, every decision-making has to be turned into a process of exploration and learning. This process of exploration and learning is all we have.
Various institutions use a special method of decision-making similar to one based on a set of Logical Views. It uses Views of various departments of the institution. Often, division of the institution on departments is done to create an efficient system of Departmental Views. Each such View uses a set of relevant Logical Views and experience of decision-making related to the department’s area. Each such Department develops particular culture, which is reflected in Department’s View on various situations, where this institution makes decisions. The Department becomes an expert-adviser in decision-making associated with the Department’s area and role of the institution in this area.
Departmental Views and ways to work with them are similar to Logical Views, only, in addition to taking in consideration the situation at hand, decision-makers have to make adjustments for skills, habits and aspirations of management and specialists preparing and presenting Departmental Views.
The decision-maker guides all this process of preparation and making a final decision, which involves so many instances of not logical decisions. It is hard to do this right and it is easy to feel that entire process is highly arbitrary. One needs to have some “guiding light” inside to do it right. This “guiding light” cannot be some logical theory or logical picture of the world, nor could it be a system of moral principles.
The “feeling of INTEGRITY” could be and often is such “guiding light”. The “feeling” that in spite of all the visible logical gaps in analysis, in spite of absence of confidence in our understanding of the situation, in spite of absence of confidence in our experts, and in spite of bitter experience of decisions, which turned to be “less than perfect”, in spite of all of this, the situation at hand, the people involved, actions of people in the process, the learning during decision-making, all of this is bound together, not accidental.
That mysterious phenomenon provides us with psychological foundation to carry on and feel that we are doing OK.
Alexander Liss 12/1/2019