Making the right choice when faced with multiple options can be daunting. This tool organizes and rates your options so the right choice is clear. You can also download these detailed instructions.

What decision do you want to make?

Title you decision:

1. List the attributes

List the important attributes or factors that are important in choosing between the options.

For a smart phone, the attributes could be cost, size, screen quality, sound quality, etc.

Attributes

2. Weigh each attribute

Weigh each attribute from 1 to 10 based upon its importance to you (1 lowest, 10 highest.) Use your first guess. You can change it later.

{{vm.showExamples?'Hide':'Show'}} special instruction for teams.

if you are making this decision as a team - for instance, a team in a corporation deciding on where to move the corporate headquarters - I suggest you first discuss the reasons for giving certain weights to each attribute as a team. Then, each of you should give your own assessment privately, independently, and anonymously, to minimize various biases due to group influence and social hierarchy. This approach has been shown by research to be most likely to result in the best decision.

Attributes Weights

3. List your options

For example: computers you might buy or the colleges you might attend. You can add more options later.

Options

Once your options have been added, click the Next button. You can also skip these instructions by scrolling down and entering the data directly into the tool.

4. Rank the attributes for each option

Look below these instructions to see a chart with your options and attributes entered. Rank each option and attribute from 1 to 10 (1-poor, 10-great).

5. Review the scores

In the chart below, the second column (next to the option name) has the score for each option. The highest score wins.

Check your gut. Does the answer you got feel aligned with your intuitions? Would you be surprised if you looked back and wished you made a different decision? Experiment with adjusting weights and rankings to address gut feelings, but be cautious about trying to get the numbers to fit some predetermined choice.

6. Check for thinking errors

Check for potential thinking errors that are relevant to you personally and experiment with adjusting weights and rankings to address those thinking errors.

Please take a minute to consider each of these common thinking errors, and write down how it might be impacting your decision-making. You need to write something in each box to go onward, even if something like "not applicable." This is really important to help you avoid making a bad decision - don't skip this step by simply filling out random letter strings unless you're really confident. And if you're really confident, take some time to consider the overconfidence bias box


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7. Make your choice and stick with it

This precommitment will reduce feelings of anxiety and doubt and help you feel happier about your decision. Don't go back to reassess unless important new evidence emerges that would influence your rankings or weights. Don't let feelings of doubt make you start over. Decide in advance what you would consider to be important enough evidence, so that you are not swayed by attentional bias later.

Final thoughts

These are the key research-based steps to effective decision-making for any significant decision with multiple options and attributes to consider. This applies to any area of life - professional, financial, social, romantic, civic, philanthropic, leisure, or anything else. It can be used by individuals, teams, organizations, or institutions. This should help you make the wisest possible decision toward reaching your goals!

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This web app is informed by the Tip Sheet and Guidelines on Making Wise Decisions.

For any questions, please contact Dr. Gleb Tsipursky, gleb@intentionalinsights.org



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