I am often comfortable with my decisions, but I research other methods of making them, to see if there is something I could incorporate to improve my process. I found a few books in the subjects of financial planning, personal well-being, and self-help that suggest a table with varying set ups. I will present a method that is combination of techniques and discuss the advantages and disadvantages. The most successful result of this method would be a decision crafted out of the most considerations. In the same way used car sellers boast 160-point inspections, this method’s result would be however many considerations you care to put into the decision; a 5-consideration decision versus 100 or 1000 considerations decision. This method could be used to record how decisions are made.
Quarter Value Comparison Table
The quartile value comparison table is optimal to express the relationship of 2 choices and their impact on one goal or consideration. The table requires you to input your goals or considerations and decide the relationship of the choice’s impact on each goal/consideration. You have to ask yourself questions like “how do these choices impact and relate to the fulfillment of each goal”
How the Method Works
The method relies on quarter values of 1. This is because either choosing one of three answers, the choices get one value that represents their impact on one consideration, in series; you can create a sum to see which choice satisfies more considerations than the other. The weight method can help to represent when some considerations are more important than others, or the user has a clear idea of how to disperse the percentages to show levels of importance with either one or multiple considerations being of that importance.
Advantages of This Method
The advantage of this method involves it’s inclusion of management, a straight forward approach, and its summation opportunity. Identify multiple considerations, goals, solutions, or values in a table with a calculation that allows both choices to share a value you can use to express the relationship of each choice on the goal or consideration. Take multiple considerations and simply decide the relationship of your choices to the consideration between 3 possible answers; whether one is far superior, just the better of the two or whether each has a similar impact to the consideration. Represent those 3 answers with a number (1 if the choice is far superior to achieve the goal than the other choice, 0.75 if it is just the better of the two choices, or 0.5 if the impact is the same. At the end, you can use the summation of these scores to find which answer or choice respects the most of your considerations or fulfills most of your goals.
Use of Method
Strengths and Weaknesses
Hierarchy of Considerations
Possible improvements for this method include a representation of a hierarchy between the considerations and goals. You do this by multiplying the quartile value by a weight and create a sum of the “weighted” values. Two methods can be used to establish a representation of a hierarchy with weights. The best approach is weighting impacts by an arbitrary percentage value system. View the below example around considerations for buying a new commuter vehicle.
The arbitrary percentage value weight allows you to establish specific values with a weight to represent similar importance and the importance of some considerations over others. The user has to determine a percentage to each goal or value that is arbitrary. Like you see in the table the Budget items are twice as important as the Car Status and Desire considerations and the exterior considerations (Regulations and Car Market Cycle Opportunities are half as important as the others. These decisions could also be replaced by the actual cars a person is reviewing. Individuals with different circumstances could assign the values differently, for example someone with a disability could put Comfort as important than other considerations.
In the above table, an example car buying decision; we have the 2 budget considerations twice as important as 3 considerations of lower but exactly similar importance, and 2 considerations half as important than the former mentioned 3. This could be supplemented with further calculations where levels of importance are determined and each receives a value which all add up to equal one (although the difference in the values is very close).
Another is an average and ordinal arrangement of the number of considerations. This is done by numbering all considerations in order of importance 1 being of least importance, the last consideration being of highest importance (8, in the above example). Taking the considerations ordinal value and dividing by the sum of the number of choices to create the weight.
36 is the sum of the number of choices ( 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 + 6 + 7 + 8 = 36) when you divide the number given to each value by 36, you get a percentage we use as the Choice’s Weight. The “Choice 1” column uses the standard quarter method to compare the impact of the choice on a respective goal or consideration (0.25 vs 0.75, 0.5 vs 0.5, or 1 vs 0). The “Choice 1 Weighted” takes the quarter value multiplies it by the percentage so it does not impact more than values of higher importance, but still more, than less important values.
Specification of Consideration
If one of your considerations is your “development” such a general term may cause more confusion than is needed in your deliberation or may rob you of opportunities to expand from this general consideration that would require many specific and relevant considerations. “Development” should encompass many specific and personalized deliberations, possibly replaced with “Current Ability” and “Development of new ability or Potential” in the case where you consider whether which decision is better aligned with your current ability and your plans to develop new abilities. In this example we see a necessity for development beyond the arbitrary considerations and perhaps a mixture of other methods to make them more concrete such as journals, articles or other exhibits. For example, here is a table that could be at least expanded to look like any of the above tables.
Let’s go back to the above “development” example; it is better to break this consideration into facts or experience otherwise too many general and arbitrary considerations could make the consideration process miss the important result; an informed decision. To make less arbitrary or philosophical considerations part of your deliberation; Ask yourself if what you titled as your consideration is based on a fact, experience, or compilation thereof. Some considerations benefit from philosophical or imaginative approaches, and a consideration table can always be a good preliminary step, right before a deliberate decision making table. You can augment your decision by collecting essays, or reports that prove a specific consideration. A few approaches to make a consideration more based on facts, experience or a product thereof; is to ask a question rather than force yourself to assume, create a journal based around a general consideration, or research into specific data.
Limits of the Method
Two main limits to this method include the restriction to two choices, and the ease to not include all relevant considerations. Some utility still being present between an even number of choices but with more complexity and ineffectiveness beyond 2 choices or 2 impacting forces to your considerations. Although the summation of the number of choices method allows one to establish a hierarchy of values it forces that none of your values are of equal importance (assumes one value is always either of greater or lesser importance than any of the others). The Arbitrary Percentage value method requires arbitrary values which could make you feel more accurate in your value assignment or less accurate, increasing of possibility in errors.
Good luck in all of your decision making; now and in the near future out there. Could we make a consideration list for everything and anything? Imagine if we had consideration lists available for the public that consolidates all considerations someone should have, when making a decision, or even services that give consumers their own respective scores based on necessary considerations. I encourage using the method to measure past decisions first and deciding whether the method works for you. Whether it provides insight for you on a small or past decision before using it on anything important. Please let me know in the comments of what you think about or any results of the decision making method, thank you for reading.