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Helping decision makers frame, analyze, and implement decisions

April 23, 2018
  1. All decisions have the same recognizable elements. Context, objectives, alternatives, consequences, and deliberation. Decision makers and analysts familiar with these elements can quickly see the underlying structure of a decision.
  2. There are only a small number of classes of decisions. These classes differ in the cognitive and scientific challenge they present to the decision maker; the ability to recognize the class of decision leads a decision maker to tools to aid in the analysis.
  3. Sometimes we need more information, sometimes we don’t. The role of science in a decision-making process is to provide the predictions that link the alternative actions to the desired outcomes. Investing in more science is only valuable if it helps to choose a better action.
  4. Implementation. The successful integration of decision analysis into environmental decisions requires careful attention to the decision, the people, and the institutions involved.