Factors Affecting Decision Making

This list of factors affecting decision making is not mutually exclusive. While it's difficult to imagine a situation in which all of these apply simultaneously, it's clear that in most cases, a subset of these are relevant, rather than just a single factor.

  • Environment
  • Our level of confidence
  • State of mind
  • Physiology
  • Emotion
  • Risk tolerance
  • Past history. "Once bitten twice shy."
  • Mood (optimism, pessimism)
  • Culture. Some decisions may seem appropriate or inappropriate depending on culture
  • Rationality. Logic prevails (at all costs)
  • Irrationality. Effect of emotions such as greed, fear, anger
  • Physical needs such as lust, hunger, fatigue
  • Politics
  • Perspective (age, race, gender)
  • Blackmail. We may be forced to make a decision under pressure
  • Priorities. Where does a particular issue stand in relative importance to other concerns?
  • Spiritual motivation
  • Perceived risks
  • Real risks
  • Magnitude of downside, loss, damage to our organization
  • Personal stake. How much do we stand to gain or lose
  • Likelihood of various outcomes, positive and negative
  • Reputation risk or benefit
  • Values (societal and personal)
  • Faith/religion
  • Expectations
  • Hopes, aspirations
  • Pressure or support by friends
  • Presence of allies
  • Opinions of partners
  • Stands taken by enemies
  • Loyalty to a cause
  • Patriotism
  • Nationalism