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Consensus Decision Making Essay Essay

A decision is a determination of a question or doubt by making a judgment. Decisions are a part of everyday life for normal human beings and can be as insignificant as to where to eat lunch, or as important as whether to pop the marriage question to a longtime girlfriend. Decisions can be made in a variety of ways, but most of the time they are either made individually or in a group setting. Both individual decision making and group decision making have their pros and cons, and can even determine the type of individual a person is. Decision making is not always an easy process, but is a part of life.

There are major differences between group decision making and individual decision making. When individuals are in a group, decision making could not only involve one person’s opinion, but everyone’s opinion which could become vital to the final outcome. This could sometimes make it easier for a final decision to be reached, or maybe make it even harder to reach a final decision. Arguments and disagreements can occur in group decision making based on other people’s opinions. Sometimes people try to persuade other individuals to change their decision to the one they want, by giving them their own opinions and making them seem like facts. Group decision making can also be positive because there is more brain power involved which can ultimately lead to a quick and more efficient type of decision making.

The other type of decision making is individual decision making. This type of decision is basically based solely on one opinion and one opinion only, which ultimately gets the individual what they want. The individual decision making also comes from one point of view and only from the knowledge from the individual. This could lead to a misunderstanding on how to decide because the individual was presented the information to process and had a hard time understanding on which way to decide. The individual’s knowledge on the topic they are deciding on may be little to none, and could lead to a poor decision. Either way, individual decision making and group decision making both have their major differences, positives, and negatives.

All of the activities in class and the film “12 Angry Men,” give us individuals some perspective into decision making and also show us the explicit pros and cons. One very interesting and fun assignment we had to do was the NASA assignment were as individuals we were given 15 choices of important items and had to rank them based on what we thought was important. Then we were put into groups and had to decide which ones were most important barring our opinions. Many people had conflicting views on what was important and what was not, and some had not realized how important an item was until they were in a group.

It was extremely interesting to see how all of the group members came to decisions on this although conflict had occurred. Another group activity that we did in class was the time capsule activity. This was another strongly opinion based activity but because there were other people in the group there were many items being tossed around. There wasn’t a set list of items to choose from like the NASA activity, so there were unlimited amount of choices and some choices were surprising. Some important items were many of the times overlooked by the people in the group because their opinion came into play, which was just like the NASA activity. There were many disagreements while working in a group setting because some people may have different priorities.

The movie “12 Angry Men” showed us more positives and negatives of individual and group decision making. In the beginning of the movie all but one juror votes individually decide that the man was guilty without any deliberation of the evidence. After discussing each piece of evidence the jury slows takes a turn towards not guilty. Although some were stubborn, the fact that all of the jurors talked out their opinions and had a reasonable doubt had some of the change their decision to not guilty. After much deliberation and conflict, the jury was unanimously deciding that the accused was not guilty after all. This was after almost all of the jurors had decided guilty, which meant that the group decision making was much more successful than the individual decision making. The right decision was made in the end because of the talking and opinions that were thrown around which ultimately had the jurors changing their initial decisions.

This movie again showed us the positives and negatives when it comes to decision making. Many believe that group decision making is a much more efficient way of deciding outcomes which is why it is so often used in the United States Government. Examples like the House of Representatives and Congress show how many people deliberate about new decisions. Many new laws are discussed by these groups of people and then eventually passed to the president. This just exemplifies how people opinions and votes do matter to the government. Of course the judicial branch is the branch the uses group decision making a lot.

Jury’s make decisions on crimes by deliberating and talking about evidence and whether there is a reasonable doubt. They reach a verdict together and all have to agree on the same thing. The executive branch also uses group decision making. The president just doesn’t make decisions based on his opinions, he usually consults many people about new changes that he wants to make. The president is only one brain, and if he gets more opinions from other brains he can ultimately decide on whether or not this is going to benefit society as a whole. Individual decision making and group decision making have major differences. Both of them have their positives and negatives which are a part of everyday life, and are prevalent in the government.


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