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Professor of Marketing, Stanford Graduate School of Business
Is it best to be emotionless and analytical in decision making? Studies show that while we may try to be rational in deciding between two current options, very soon—usually based on first impressions—we create an emotional front-runner, biasing our evaluation. Rather than creating bad decisions, tapping our emotions leads to more confident decision making.
Emotion vs Analytics Decision Making and the Biased Brain Program Highlights:
- How to be decisive and confident in decision making.
- Why starting with price can lead to bad decisions.
- How loss aversion trumps opportunity—and how to counter negative emotions.
Is it best to be emotionless and analytical in decision making? When our goal is to be decisive, the answer is a resounding No. Instead, harnessing the power of emotions is critical.
Studies of the neural underpinnings of decision making show that our brains start by evaluating options analytically. But very soon—usually based on first impressions—we create an emotional front-runner. We then continue down a path of predecisional distortion, which biases further evaluation. Rather than creating bad decisions, however, this distortion leads to more confident, committed decision making.
This natural process works best for tradeoff conflicts: deciding between current options. It also works well for decisions involving innovation, growth and expansion. But in cases of sequential conflicts—or when the risk of danger or a bad outcome is greater—taking a more analytical approach is the better choice. Dr. Shiv describes specific techniques for gathering data, group decision making, accessing your gut feelings, and knowing when to allow the contrarians to dominate the discussion.
- Emotion vs. Analytics DVD (55 Minutes)
Baba Shiv, whose research is in the area of neuroeconomics, is Director of the Strategic Marketing Management Executive Program at Stanford University and editor of the Journal of Consumer Research. He received his MBA from the Indian Institute of Management and PhD from Duke University.
Stanford Executive Briefings Filmed monthly at the Stanford University Faculty Club, these lively presentations give you access to high-level speakers who share their insights and “best practices” with the business community.
This training program is included in the People and Productivity Collection