Monday, May 14, 2012

Decision Making Made Easy

Have you ever had a really hard decision to make and debated for hours or even days to try and figure what to do?  I have the perfect solution for you black and white thinkers. Many of us have heard of the pros and cons list. Well I am taking that to the next level.

Numeric Pros and Cons
Step 1: Make a list of good things about your choice.
Step 2: Make a list of bad things about your choice.
Step 3: Assign a number to each item based on a scale of 1-5. Five means that item is extremely important to you and one means you don’t care that much about it.
Step 4: Add up the numbers in each column.

Whether or not to pet my dog:

He likes it -3
He is soft -2
I like him -3
I enjoy petting him -3
Total points =11

I would have to call his name or get up -4
My other dog would be jealous -2
My hands might smell like dog -2
Total points = 8

Pros wins with 11 total points. I will pet my dog.

Ok now let’s get complicated! Let’s say you are debating between two options that have their own set of pros and cons. I will show you how that works.

To pet Wally or to pet Puma:

Pros of petting Wally:
Wally holds still for long periods of time. -2
Wally is soft. -2
I like him. -3
Total Points = 7

Cons of Petting Wally:
My hands will smell like dog.-4
He takes forever to come to me when I call him. -4
He doesn’t care that much. -2
Total Points = 10

Pros of Petting Puma
Puma likes to be petted. -2
Puma comes eagerly when called. -2
Puma looks like he is smiling when he gets petted. -4
Puma taps his foot if you get the right spot. -4
Total Points = 12

Cons of Petting Puma
I will feel guilty for not also petting Wally. -3
I will feel guilty that I secretly like Puma better than Wally. -3
Total Points = 6

Now is where we get fancy and use a formula!
Choice 1 pros – choice 1 cons = choice 1 point value
Choice 2 pros – choice 2 cons = choice 2 point value
In my above example with petting Puma and Wally the formula would work as such:
Choice one petting Wally 7-10 = -3
Choice two petting Puma 12-6 = 6
Petting Puma wins by 9 points!!

Ok well I hope this makes sense to all of you and is helpful for your next decision making task. If you need help, feel free to contact me. :)


  1. Interesting calculation and funny too,but I think you want to say that maths involves in our today's life.As you ask about cat then same calculation you can use.


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