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Insightful TED Talks on Decision Making

We make decisions every day. From the clothes we put on in the morning to the side of the bed we crawl into at night, our days are fraught with decisions. Sometimes, making a choice can be simple, for example, choosing which shoes to wear, or whether to stop for gas on the way to work. Other decisions can be much more complex and daunting. The three TED Talks below offer some unique and refreshing ideas to help put your decision-making process into perspective!


Why We Ignore Obvious Problems – And How To Act On Them

Michele Wucker, an author and policy analyst is an expert on economic policy and crisis anticipation. In her TED Talk, she offers an eye-opening analysis that explores decision making and avoidance through the lens of the 2008 economic crisis. With her explanation of “Black Swan” versus “Gray Rhino” approaches to complex problems, Wucker offers incisive analysis of our very human fear of seemingly overwhelming problems, and suggests solutions through vulnerability, safety nets, and information sharing.

Three Ways To Make Better Decisions – By Thinking Like A Computer

Tom Griffiths is a computational cognitive scientist, so it is no surprise that he suggests we approach decision making by using the same process as a computer. In his TED Talk, Griffiths provides a breakdown of the “computer science of human decisions” for anything from choosing a restaurant for dinner to buying a house. The process, he says, still boils down to numbers. Using the computer science approach, Griffiths doesn’t guarantee that all decisions will be correct, but it does encourage us to take the chance of making the decision regardless, and to forgive ourselves for the inevitable wrong decision.

How Can Groups Make Good Decisions

In their TED Talk, Mariano Sigman and Dan Ariely, experts in psychology, cognitive science, and behavior, explore the process of consensus and decision-making in large groups of people. Through a series of experiments, Sigman and Ariely discovered that group decisions concerning information and even moral decisions were more accurate and reflected a greater consensus when large groups of people were broken down into smaller discussion groups. They conclude that good group decisions require two things: deliberation and differing opinions.

Productive decision making is desirable in all professions. These TED talks will encourage the event professional or meeting specialist to seek greater heights and bigger accomplishments. They will inspire you to learn, reflect and grow in your profession.

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