A Case for Random Choices in Decision-Making

I just read an interesting article by Michael Schulson called “How to Choose?” and subtitled “When your reasons are worse than useless, sometimes the most rational choice is a random stab in the dark.”

This article raises a lot of interesting points about making choices with a false sense of reason and raises the prospect that perhaps random selection is not used enough in our society. By default, random selection leads to more diversity in decision choices and diversification is arguably the number one tool to use in addressing risk and uncertainty. Mr. Schulson didn’t come out and say it this way in his article but I would also argue that overconfidence bias is a big reason people make bad decision choices in the presence of risk and uncertainty. This is essentially talked about in Schulson’s article as faulty reasoning or using bad reasons to justify decisions. The effects are essentially the same. Replacing this behavior with random selection makes sense in many cases with the proper controls in place to ensure good reasoning is not ignored.

This entertaining article can be read in it’s entirety at the following URL (accessed Aug 31, 2014):

How to Choose?


Leave a Reply