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Making Complex Decisions

A course by Lawrence Summers.

Lawrence Summers

Lawrence Summers

Former Vice President of Development Economics

Making Complex Decisions
  • Overview
  • Episodes
  • Recommended for you

Overview

The world is becoming more analytical. Given the deluge of data available and the rapid pace of change across all facets of our lives, good decision-making – that is, the ability to be analytical in your approach to making choices – is critical to our professional survival and happiness. We make better decisions when we keep in mind the costs, benefits, and consequences of what we decide. In this masterclass, Lawrence H. Summers, an expert in using decision-making models, walks you through a detailed process for deciding wisely and well.


What You'll Learn

  • How to think analytically
  • How to have a clear understanding of situations
  • How to make complex decisions scientifically
  • How to evaluate your decisions
  • How to implement your decisions


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Episodes

5 Episodes

1. Embracing Truth

3min

The world is becoming more analytical. Given the deluge of data available and the rapid pace of change across all facets of our lives, good decision-making – that is, the ability to be analytical in your approach to making choices – is critical. In this lesson, Economist Lawrence Summers explores why deciding wisely is essential to leading a good life. By the end of it, you’ll have a deeper understanding of what Summers believes to be the single greatest pitfall to analytical thinking – and ...

2. General Orientation

3min

In this lesson, Lawrence Summers explores why it’s critical to have a rational orientation to any problem. Many problems stem from having an unclear understanding of the situation at hand, Summers argues. Therefore, you must begin by defining the problem in the clearest terms possible and then ground yourself in the knowledge of your field.

3. A Scientific Method

3min

In this lesson, Lawrence Summers walks you through a scientific method for making complex decisions. The key, he argues, is to think in terms of alternatives.

4. Evaluation

4min

In this lesson, Lawrence Summers explains why looking back is the best way to learn to make better decisions and why simplistic thinking about the efficacy of one’s decision-making prevents progress.

5. Guiding Principles

4min

In this lesson, Lawrence Summers explores two guiding principles for making and then implementing your final decision. The key is to avoid overplaying or underplaying your strategy. Learn how to think at the margin, like an economist.

Supplemental Materials

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