The Effects of Categorization and Social Influences on Decision-Making Insert Name Insert Grade Course Insert Insert Date Introduction Humans are bound to various decision making scenarios in their everyday life. As a result, decision making is an important phenomenon of everyone at all stages of life…
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However, the social factors and categorization may be the major influencers of individuals’ decision making. The social environment and categorization factors have in fact made impossible for human beings to make decisions with restraint rather than on free will. This paper will examine the various categorization and social influencers that may determine the way an individual makes decisions on a daily basis. The analysis will first look at the various cognitive processes that help create understanding. Consequently, the paper will then examine the various ways in which categorization and social factors determine how individuals make decisions. Cognitive Processes The various models of cognitive process of decision making point towards a dual process, in which individuals take either side of the model. The major theories of the cognitive process are the heuristic processing and risk relevant decision making process. A major common factor of the cognitive process models is the agreement that decision making develops with time. In other words, the process develops with age and hence the difference between adults and adolescents or children in terms of decision making. The heuristic model proposes that there are some forms of shortcuts that people may take in the process of decision making. ...
On the other hand, risk relevant decision making model proposes various ways in which the risk factor may affect the cognitive process. First is the ‘reasoned pathway’ framework that states that individuals will make decisions based on the likely consequences. Through this, humans will first weigh the situation and arrive at final decisions based on the benefits of choosing the available or possible scenarios of the required decision to be made. This framework therefore tends to avoid the risks that might be associated with making certain decisions over the others. In contrast, the ‘social reaction pathway’ frame work is based on the willingness of individuals to get involved in certain risky behavior. Since the cognition process is subject to time for development purposes, it is through this that adolescents are likely to get involved in risky behavior like drug taking, drinking, reckless driving among other things. In addition, emotions may also have an effect on the cognitive process and hence may largely affect decision making. Categorization Categorization is based on the model of social classifications. It is a wider form of stereotyping where people tend to have some form of abstract or general meaning of certain objects, people or places. As a result, decision making is pegged on these ideas. Generalization may involve the process of placing objects or people into categories (Crisp, 2002). This is necessitated by the need of cognitive process to become efficient by associating meaning to groups of objects or people. In the decision making process, this will mean that an individual will be likely to have a perception on the
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