The Decision Making Balance Sheet

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Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1979, Vol 24(8), 611–613. Reviews the book, Decision Making: A Psychological Analysis of Conflict, Choice, and Commitment by Irving L. Janis and Leon Mann (see record 1978-00284-000). The book has a great deal to offer anyone interested in how human beings make the key “consequential” choices of living and working. Janis and Mann have produced a rich and comprehensive analysis that will be of great value to psychologists and students concerned with social processes, counseling, and organizational behavior. Their book is varied in content, level of analysis, style, and quality, but in toto it is a fine, fine study of decision making, and a very high quality work. The structure of the book is essentially to outline the major theoretical assumptions of “conflict theory,” to discuss the relevant evidence, and to consider the implications and applications of the theory. All of this is done in a highly thorough fashion. Overall, the book is superb. The writing is busy but clear. The book is not especially easy to read, but it is well written. It can be mastered and it is worth mastering. On the decisional balance sheet, the alternative of carefully reading and studying this book clearly has the highest payoff. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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