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Collaborative problem solving for community safety
Collaborative problem solving for community safety

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3 Different approaches to decision making

In the end, solving any problem comes down to making a decision. An important step in developing a collaborative approach to problem solving is to understand your own and others’ approaches to decision making. This next activity explores your approach.

Activity 5 Your decision making

Timing: Allow about 10 minutes for this activity.

Think of a major decision you have recently been involved in making at work. For each of the following statements about your decision-making process make a note of the number which shows your level of agreement with the statement.

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The questions in Activity 5 divide into three areas of decision making:

Questions 1–4: formal, rational process

Questions 5–8: rules of thumb/psychological process

Questions 9–12: process affected by social pressures.

What does the bar chart you have constructed tell you about the decision-making process you described? Which was most important in this case? (Note your answers in your learning journal.)


In many decisions all three play a part.

The three different approaches to making decisions reflected in this activity form the core of the discussion of decision making in the next section.