Practical Advice from ‘Decisive’ by Chip and Dan Heath (An Actionable Books summary)

“The pros-and-cons approach is familiar. It is commonsensical. And it is also profoundly flawed.”

Decisive, page 8

Humans are fundamentally irrational. We like to think our decisions are logical deductions based on empirical data, but this ignores large and powerful portions of our brains in which emotions overpower or undermine logic.

This gives rise to four villains in our decision-making process:

  1. Narrow framing – spotlighting one alternative at the expense of others available
  2. Confirmation bias – developing a belief about a situation, then seeking out information that bolsters our belief
  3. Short-term emotion – mental churn which obscures perspective
  4. Overconfidence about how the future will unfold – we cannot examine what we can’t see or know

We may be irrational, but we’re predictably irrational. Forewarned is forearmed: knowing the villains means we can learn coping strategies.

Acting as if we already have a quality will produce it.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • We Are All Using a Flawed Decision-Making Process
  • WRAP: Strategies for Defeating the 4 Villains of Decision Making
  • Prepare to Be Wrong: Bookend the Future & Set a Tripwire

Read my summary of Decisive at Actionable Books.

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