The life of mankind is clouded with so many insatiable desires such that their wake up call every day is to work themselves up to meet pressing demands. In the face of limited resources against unlimited desires, the quest of decision making is an inevitable part of humanity (from children to adults). What to wear, eat, drink, watch, buy, places to visit, just to mention a few are the choices they have to make every day whenever their eyes see sun rise.

Decision making is the act of making a choice or selection from a list of preferences. Undeniably, there are lots of things we desire to achieve, but we are handicapped by time, money, space, among other resources making it impossible to evade decision making. That is, it is not possible for someone to go a full day without making decision. According to research works done by psychologytoday and scienceunctv, It is was revealed that the average person makes about thirty five thousand (35,000) remotely conscious decision each day. Without any doubt, both the rich and the poor by decision making are forced to sacrifice some of their desires in order to satisfy the most pressing ones, because they all have limited resources. So, just as death is no respecter of persons, whether rich or poor, the next insubordinate entity is decision making.

5 Factors That Influence Decision

Every decision is followed by a reaction and the cause of that decision is the explanation of the reaction observed. Thus, some school of thoughts believe that there is no action that is irrational; even the actions of insane men are considered very rational, given that all actions are a product of choice(s) or decision(s) made by the action taker. It is worth noting that there is no standard rule (s) specified to judge the outcome of every decision, whether rational or irrational. This stems from the undeniable fact that what may seem rational to one person may appear irrational to the other.

There are quite a lot of worth knowing factors that influence people’s decision making. Some from past experiences, commitment, socio economic status, self-esteem (in the context of feeling relevant), the relative theory, among others.

In the world of the risk averse individual, a trail tolled in the past which yielded positive results is worth considering a hundred times than giving room to discovering new avenues of achieve same or even better results. Results from past experiences is one of the greatest factors that inform the decision making of about ninety eight percent of the world’s population. This is a normalized trait in human behaviour, which is because of their unquivering desire to maximize benefits and less losses. Consequently, people are likely to repeat a decision they gave them the desired results and abhor decisions that took them on the undesired turn.

Following past experiences, commitment is another strong factor that influence people’s decisions. People tend to invest more into entities that they feel committed to and are more inclined to responding to the demands of those entities, irrespective of whether responding to them will yield good results or not. Sometimes, people are aware the outcome of their decisions will not be favourable, but they go ahead with it because they feel they owe someone, something, or a cause an allegiance. For instance, because of your commitment to a particular body (an individual or institution) you will defend it no matter the consequences of their evil policies. Your level of commitment to a lover can cause you to choose him/her over your family in the face of a fierce battle, whether the lover is good or bad. Thus, decision making can be influenced by ‘how far in the hole’ an individual feels he or she is (Juliusson et al, 2015).

Furthermore, socioeconomic status defines how an individual carries him/her about and influences his/her decision-making culture. For instance, a poor person may see spending huge sum of money buying a brand new item (mobile phone, car or dress) as unreasonable, but buying a second hand item at a lower price (which maybe faulty) will be reasonable to him/her, thus such a person spends more time shopping in second goods market than.

In addition, people in a low economic status appear raw or unrefined as compared to rich folks. The movies we watch give a clear picture of the appearance of both the rich and the poor.

The quest to be acknowledged as relevant in our societies is another major influencer of people’s decision making. Surprisingly, even the mad man wants to be seen as relevant and so is always picking rubbish from the streets (though they later dump them behind people’s houses). Also, the bitterness that has accumulated in the heart of many people in this dispensation is practically because of this act of being relevant. People speak ill, kill, plot the downfall of, and intentionally disappoint other just to feel or be relevant.

More so, others give their all in all to accomplish things that should make them appear very relevant in the society or in their field of operation, and when they are not accord that needed relevance, they become extremely bitter.

Currently, the greatest strategy people employ in leadership is to make their followers feel relevant, and they are able to get them to move in the direction they want.

Finally, the relative theory is another factor to consider. This is a theory that defines the decision-making behaviour of people as a function of others. The theory states that, “an individual is likely to think and behave like the company he or she keeps.” A typical example of this theory is the spending behaviour of people which is strongly seen when an individual changes place of residence. Obviously, the spending culture of someone living in a slum can not be compared to someone living in a renowned estate.

In the slum, the percentage of poor people living there Is very high and this makes them stronger in decision making as there a lot of options to suit everybody’s income level, unlike living in an estate which is perceived to be the dwelling of rich people. Though there may be lots of options to choose from in an estate, their prices will be relatively the same (higher prices) making their cost of living relatively higher, and they have no problem buying them. Consequently, when an individual from an estate goes to the slum, that individual may see less costly goods (the same goods the person purchases in the estate) as inferior or not in proper shape, and will not want to purchase it at all.

In another instance, when a group of people (say five guys) walk into a food market, the possibility of them all buying the same food whether they all feel for the same food or not is higher than them buy different foods. Unless under special condition will any of them opt for a different food. Thus, the decision of others further influences the decisions of others too.

In addition, you can think about how movies, social media and the likes are influencing people to make certain decisions and behaving in certain ways.

Paying attention to the things that influence your decision making is very paramount to you making the desired choice. It helps you to know whether the thing you are about responding to is just because it is urgent, or it is needful. Urgent things in this context are things we respond to because we feel they are very crucial and needs an immediate response; not responding to that thing may not have any significant adverse impact on you. For instance, walking by the street and seeing a different colour of a shoe you already have, you maybe tempted to buy it because of its fashionable beauty. You don’t necessarily need it but for the fact that you might not use that street again or even if you should, you might not find the same item there, you will be pressed to buy it. The intensity of the pressure will be determined by your socioeconomic status.

On the other hand, a needful thing is basically a necessity of life and when one does not respond to it, one’s survival or comfort will be at a critical risk. Your socioeconomic status has less power over the demands of these things.

Pay attention to the factors that influence your decision or choice making and I believe you can make positive progress in life.

By John Mefful

John Mefful is a virtual assistant and a freelance writer in diverse fields. He was born and groomed in the dark vegetation of Africa, Ghana to be precise. He is an Alumnus of the University of Cape coast, with strong writing and oratory skills. He is passionate about writings which challenge status quos.

  1. Great pieces of words of encouragement from different angles put together John. Keep it up

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