LTC 315 Week 2 Individual Assignment Making Choices Guide Pa…

Title: Understanding the Process of Decision Making: A Guide for Making Informed Choices (Part I)


Decision making is a complex cognitive process that individuals engage in on a daily basis. Whether it pertains to personal, professional, or societal matters, making choices is essential for achieving desired outcomes and managing uncertainty. In this guide, we will explore the decision-making process, focusing on the factors that influence decision making and the importance of making informed choices. Part I will examine the different types of decisions, the impact of values and ethics on decision making, and the role of personal experiences in shaping choices.

Types of Decisions:

Decisions can be classified into three main categories: programmed, non-programmed, and strategic. Programmed decisions involve routine and repetitive situations that can be solved using established rules and guidelines. These decisions often rely on predetermined objectives and are based on past experiences. Examples of programmed decisions include meal choices, route selection for commuting, or selecting predetermined products from a shopping list.

Non-programmed decisions, on the other hand, are unstructured and often require a more in-depth analysis of available options and potential outcomes. These decisions typically involve novel situations or problems that do not have predefined solutions. Examples of non-programmed decisions include choosing a college major, buying a house, or deciding on a career path.

Lastly, strategic decisions are made by organizations to achieve long-term goals and gain a competitive edge in the market. These decisions often involve significant resources, time, and information gathering. Strategic decisions determine the overall direction and future course of action for an organization. Examples of strategic decisions include entering a new market, adopting a new technology, or developing a new product line.

Impact of Values and Ethics on Decision Making:

Values and ethics play a crucial role in decision making, as they shape an individual’s perception of right and wrong. Values are deeply ingrained beliefs that guide an individual’s actions, decisions, and behaviors. Ethics, on the other hand, refers to the moral principles and standards that govern human conduct and influence decision making.

When faced with a decision, individuals often rely on their values and ethical perspectives to make choices that align with their personal beliefs. For instance, a person with a strong environmental ethic may choose to buy a hybrid car instead of a gasoline-powered vehicle. Alternatively, a person guided by financial values may prioritize investments that yield high returns, even if they come with potential ethical concerns.

It is also important to note that values and ethics can differ among individuals, as they are influenced by cultural, social, and personal factors. When making decisions, it is essential to be aware of one’s values and ethical framework to ensure that choices are in line with personal integrity and moral compass.

Role of Personal Experiences in Shaping Choices:

Personal experiences serve as a significant influence in decision making. These experiences include previous encounters, actions, and observations that mold an individual’s perspectives, beliefs, and behaviors. They influence decision making in several ways.

First, personal experiences provide individuals with a reference point for evaluating potential options and outcomes. For example, someone who has had a negative experience with a particular brand may be less likely to purchase products from that brand in the future. Similarly, a positive encounter with a specific service provider may influence a person’s decision to continue using their services.

Second, personal experiences shape the way individuals perceive and interpret information. The interpretation of information is influenced by cognitive biases formed by past experiences. For instance, confirmation bias occurs when individuals seek information that confirms their existing beliefs and overlook information that challenges their preconceptions. This bias can significantly impact decision making by limiting the consideration of alternative options.

Lastly, personal experiences provide individuals with a source of learning and growth. Reflecting on past decisions and experiences can help individuals make better-informed choices in the future. Lessons learned from previous successes and failures can improve decision making by allowing individuals to anticipate potential challenges and identify more effective strategies.


This guide has provided an overview of the decision-making process, highlighting the different types of decisions, the impact of values and ethics, and the role of personal experiences in shaping choices. Understanding these factors is essential for making informed decisions that align with personal values and goals. In Part II of this guide, we will delve into decision-making models and explore techniques for minimizing biases and enhancing the decision-making process.