The Ocean of Decision Making | INFJ Forum

The Ocean of Decision Making

Discussion in 'Psychology and MBTI' started by Impact Character, Sep 7, 2022.

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  1. Impact Character

    Impact Character folding paper cranes ⭐

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    Hello everyone!



    I wanted to ask if you are interested in dipping into the topic of decision making as individuals, the process of deciding as well as the learning curve. It's not so much about using the MBTI system and its terminology, nor do I ask only INFJs - it's really meant for everybody, including observations of others.


    Starter Questions:

    Why and how do you most often make decisions? Are there exceptions or special decisions?
    What aspects influence greatly your decision making process i.e. your decisions?
    Are you simplifying/reducing in some way or form the variables of a decision? When? Why? How?
    Are you actively reworking some aspects or variables in the process? When? Why? How?

    In what way are you involved in a decision? What aspects of you?
    Are other people involved? If so, how?
    Do you actively involve them at some point? When? Why?
    Do you avoid in some way to involve them? When? Why?

    Do small and big decisions differ?
    Do you struggle more with coming to a decision or with changing an existing decision?
    Is it more difficult to make quick decisions or taking time to decide?
    How about getting decision fatique?

    Generally speaking, what were your best/worst decisions? Why did you know they were?
    How has decision making changed throughout your life?


    Feel free to add or change questions. :)
     
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  2. John K

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    Oh gosh @Impact Character ! That's as big as asking how the world works - It depends so much on the situation. By situation I mean things like the scale of the choice being made, the costs, the risks and the possible benefits - and I don't mean these in purely quantifiable terms.

    For some of my decisions, the choice is just plain obvious - do I want a cup of tea, or a cup of coffee - and I don't even think about it.

    The very big decisions are the ones that switch the entire course of my life - which subjects to take at which college, which career to pursue, should I marry someone. Of course as I get older, there is less impact from these sort of decisions but they are still very significant. For example should we move closer to one of our sons? With these, I'll grow a decision like planting a tree in the garden until it forms a shape that is a choice. Following a choice, once I have made a decision, is like setting out across the ocean in a small yacht - there is a voyage of discovery and trial because there can never be a way of foreseeing everything I will encounter specifically. The time of growth of the decision in the 'garden' will have given me some foresight, though, into the type of challenges I may face and allowed me to prepare so as to minimise risk and maximise the chance of success. Do I need to add that these decisions involve others too, my wife in particular, and my family when I was younger? The tree of choice in the garden is not just my own but one we grow together where necessary - that includes the preliminary decision as whether to plant one at all or not. I have an existential awareness in these very big decisions because the choices not made are whole alternate universes than will never have the gift of reality and impact the whole pattern of the future, not just for me but for others in my life, and beyond.

    There are all sorts of decisions that lie between these extremes. Which model of camera should I buy? Where should we go on holiday? Should we fit solar panels? etc. For many of these, I actually enjoy very much doing the research and can spend hours and days exploring options and reading around the possibilities. I may drag this out for a long time because I really enjoy the exploration, and it may even be more important for me in some ways than closing off with an actual decision. I often have a feeling of slight let-down and regret after I've made a choice of this type and completed it; it's because the future has been constrained, and I've lost the exploratory pastime involved LOL. I've found as well that keeping this sort of decision open for an extended period may bring significant benefit - for example through the bringing of new opportunities, alternative perspectives, or a simple loss of interest on my part.

    Running through all the non-life-changing situations, I do have another way of making decisions too. Just do it! I just pick and go without thinking about it - I'll do this purely on gut-feeling. I decide how to compose a particular photo this way mainly - by quickly feeling what seems right in the viewfinder. Of course many such decisions are pretty low risk because the costs are low, and an alternative can easily be chosen if it goes wrong. But it isn't as simple as just trial and error, because I often find that my initial choice was better than subsequent ones that I had put some thought and analysis into. I rate my photos on computer in the same sort of instinctive way, scoring each one from 1-5 and taking only a second or two to decide the score. Some do get revised later on, but rarely.
     
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  3. Matty

    Matty Permanent Fixture

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    I have big picture intentions, subordinate small picture intentions, and subordinate to those scope for spontaneity within rigid boundaries.

    For the most part I actively pursue my intended goals, and occasionally react to chance occurrences in a way that is less reliably consistent with my intentions. I'm wary of allowing myself reactive or impulsive decisions, because they can be more influenced by transient passions/desires/aversions. For example, I'm avoiding flirty interactions with women, because it has often escalated into casual sex, against my general intention to be moral and religious. However, I'll allow myself less intensely impactful impulsivity, such as going running wherever it looks nice in the moment.

    The relatively limited reactive aspect of my decision making aside, most of my decisions are made after solitary thought and contemplation of the best/most efficient means towards reaching goals. After quietly considering options for a few hours, or even days, I'll make a detailed schema of my plans, and and accompanying chronological checklist of things to do. Then I'll follow my agenda for weeks or months, occasionally submitting it to further thought/contemplation. Along the way, in completing my agenda, I need to employ self motivation techniques such as determining arbitrary milestones and accompanying rewards, or simple cognitive behavioural techniques, such as allowing myself to daydream about something pleasant, only while actively completing especially boring or unpleasant tasks in the agenda.

    My principal enjoyment is in planning, and I have relatively little enjoyment in the execution of my plans, so once I have made plans, I don't allow myself to engage in further planning for long periods of time, because it is just an indulgence and leads to procrastination.

    INTJs like me always love helpers in executing plans, and lots of input from others before we start planning. However, planning and decision making is a solitary activity for us, where all information, methods, considerations, advice, etc is structured into the most efficient and coherent path to achieve an end. Picking at the established plan after it's been made can seem like time wasting and procrastination, so suggestions only get considered outside designated work time. This last part is more about social decision making. INTJs like me can seem authoritarian insofar as stopping work, to engage in further planning is almost completely intolerable, but are welcome if discussed in dedicated review time, or after work hours.
     
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  4. John K

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    @Impact Character A quick postscript to the above. My decision making process was considerably different in my work life, where a lot of it was collegiate. There are three spheres to consider in anything other than a small organisation - personal, team, corporate - and each have different challenges in terms of the technique and the sociology of choice.
     
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  5. OP
    Impact Character

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    Lately, I find it bestranging how decision making is so often purely depicted through following own values and managing ressources. It feels awkwardly disconnected for some reason..
    An efficient collective machine that checks for moral justification. Growing some weird trees..
     
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  6. Wyote

    Wyote Meka Istaqa
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    What is a "not strange" decision process, according to you?
     
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  7. OP
    Impact Character

    Impact Character folding paper cranes ⭐

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    I'm sorry, I didn't mean to imply in anyway that people were strange. There is just something I cannot quite put my finger on..
     
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  8. John K

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    One thing I notice - I caught a few moments of a video today about how decisions were made about managing the pandemic in Canada. It turns out that their government policy was being dictated by public opinion, then post justified with science to make it sound rational. I find that both understandable politically and pretty weird at the same time - I don't think for a minute they were the only ones. And of course the video itself will have been made with the editor's own biases. But I suspect that political decision making hasn't really advanced much beyond the camp fire, the head man and the shaman - it's spin machine is of course full blown 21st century.
     
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  9. Wyote

    Wyote Meka Istaqa
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    I'm not feeling/implying anything negative. I'm just genuinely curious as to what your understanding is with regards to this "bestrangment" and feeling "awkwardly disconnected."
    I'm just driving toward the notion of, what the heck does healthy decision making involve exactly :thonking:
     
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  10. Wyote

    Wyote Meka Istaqa
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    I've gotten more and more uncomfortable/concerned with how the world operates, the further down this rabbit hole I've gone.
    I'm kind of baffled that progress of any kind has ever occurred among humans.
    Most inventions are accidents, so I think a lot of it is just stumbling around failing and incidentally creating good ideas from time to time.
    That's one working theory I have anyway :laughing:
     
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  11. John K

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    I often think it’s more to do with a Darwinian process than rationality. People decide on and do all sorts of strange things across a huge range of possibilities. These then get weeded out by an analogue of natural selection. Of course the successful ones are post justified as though they were logically determined, but that’s just a myth - it’s just that they survived when the others didn’t.
     
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  12. Wyote

    Wyote Meka Istaqa
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    Yeah, that's exactly where I was goin' here, too.
    Not only in the actionable processes, but also the meme-able or emotional processes as well.
     
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  13. Sandie33

    Sandie33 Love Often & Absolutely ♡
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    :)
     
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  14. OP
    Impact Character

    Impact Character folding paper cranes ⭐

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    This. I am by no means an expert or spokeman for healthy decision making.

    By the state it has been in I just don't think that the world is neither (despite a huge amount of books and what not on the topic).
     
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  15. mintoots

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    Generally, I go by do I need it or want it? If it's a need, I go for it. If it's a want, I measure what for. If it gives me lasting joy, I usually go for it. If it gives me more unrest than joy, I let it go.
     
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  16. OP
    Impact Character

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    [​IMG]

    Hmm..
     
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  17. OP
    Impact Character

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    Sorry, Sands. I wasn't sure if you meant it or if it was meant on the jokey side.

    For example, it's said that many great people who have to go through an immense volume of decisions per day counter it by having pre-set decisions or standards if you will.
    They avoid smaller decisions. Like instead of asking themselves what to wear every day they decided once to always wear a uniform or black clothes, and so on.

    Others reduce the variables in the decision-making process, like crossing out speculations/trajectories alltogether, and only concentrate what they actively gather in the moment it is happening or afterwards.
     
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  18. Sandie33

    Sandie33 Love Often & Absolutely ♡
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    No worries IC, however I can relate...this sounds like me currently. In my daily life I can't waste time nor energy on what-ifs. I have to address what's right in front of me in the moment...and as for deciding how to dress, if I don't lay out something the night before I end up in my sleepwear most the next day, lol. ;)
     
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