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Hammond, Keeney and Raiffa and Unconscious Flaws or Traps

People who have successfully mastered the art of decision making evidently make good progress in their careers and relationships .For one to be a good decision maker, it is important to be on the right state of mind and avoid biasness that is likely to flaw one line of thought or ideas. In fact, being a good decision maker is paramount to being a good leader. In their business review article, Hammond, Keeney and Raiffa analyze eight traps that hinder good decision making (2006). The traps include the anchoring trap, status quo trap, recallability trap, framing trap, overconfidence trap, prudence trap, Sunk-cost trap and the confirming-evidence trap (Hammond,, 2006). The prudence trap, however, tends to affect most of the decision making as people tend to be too cautious when making decisions.

Indeed, every new decision comes with a set of challenges. However, it is important to recognize that for one to be successful they must be willing to be risk takers. While making careless actions is not appropriate, it is better to avoid being too rigid (Hammond,,2006). Usually, people are overly cautious especially when they are constantly haunted by poor decisions they made in the past. Kahneman, Lovallo, Sibony (2011) however contends that being an effective decision maker enables a person to grab opportunities as they arise. Further, one should avoid pondering on past successes or failures that would inhibit one from being objective.

In conclusion, it is important to survey the possible risks and benefits that follow a decision but that should not undermine independent thinking. In business for instance, high risks are often associated with high returns and it is worth trying out new and uncertain things for great success. Effective decision making is paramount in life because people who are successful had to make critical choices at some point. Finally, one should aim at being objective, weighing all options and having a clear mindset before making any decision.


Hammond, J. S., Keeney R. L.,& Raiffa, H.(2006). The Hidden Traps in Decision Making. Harvard Business Review, 84(1)118-126.

Kahneman,D.,Lovallo,D.,&Sibony,O.(2011).Before You Make That Decision .Harvard Business Review, 86(6)50-60.

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