Avoiding Decision Traps

From AgriMarketing Magazine - Do you think there are more or less than 175 million acres of farmland in the U.S.? How many acres of farmland do you think are in the U.S.? Chances are your answer to the second question isn’t even close to being correct. According to the USDA, there are 922 million acres. You could say that you were tricked into a small estimate — but really, the anchoring decision trap got you. Decision traps are built-in flaws in our thinking. Understanding what decision traps are and how they affect the decision-making process is critical to understanding how people arrive at their conclusions. John S. Hammond, Ralph L. Keeney and Howard Raiffa investigated the hidden traps in decision making in the Harvard Business Review, saying, “In making decisions, you may be at the mercy of your mind’s strange workings.” The traps discussed are applicable to today’s agribusiness environment.

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