Decision-making Heuristics

Of course, one would prefer to always choose the right choice. But in a contingent world, unfortunately, that's not so easy. Even what feels right at first can later turn out to be wrong. Whether the French Revolution was right remains to be seen, it is too early to judge, replied Chinese Prime Minister Chou En-lai in 1972 - almost two hundred years after the event. The right thing is difficult to identify, but many variations of the wrong thing are all the easier to recognize. Therefore it remains nevertheless: The first heuristic is that of the distinction between right and wrong. There is a solution for every problem without cheating - in everyday life usually even several. However, once the solution range has been narrowed down, it becomes more complicated.

The second heuristic is that of usefulness: Among everything that seems right, there are those solutions that are additionally useful, they generate advantages in other contexts apart from the specific question, where other ways cause disadvantages. Of course, the former are preferable. But also in the useful there is contingency. The solution range is thus only further reduced, the decision remains open.

The third heuristic is left: that of beauty. Possibly the sun also rotates around the earth, but the mathematical equations for a rotation of the earth around the sun are the more elegant ones. And if one is honest to oneself, the decision about beauty is most often the simplest and clearest heuristic.

Written in September 2023 | Category: Considerations