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Decision Counseling: Theory, Research, and Perspectives for a New Professional Role

  • Irving Janis
  • Leon Mann

Abstract

“Here I am,” says the proverbial middle-aged man, “stuck with a miserable career chosen for me by an uninformed 19-year-old boy.” Why do so many young people make poor choices they live to regret? Why do so many middle-aged men and women fail to correct their erroneous decisions of the past and continue to make poor choices? Similar questions can be raised about the ill-conceived decisions made by business executives, public service administrators, and national policy makers. “How could I have been so stupid?” President John F. Kennedy asked after he and his top-level advisors suffered the humiliations resulting from their decision to authorize the CIA’s plan for the Bay of Pigs invasion. In recent years research investigators in social psychology, cognitive processes, and organizational behavior have been trying to answer such questions, to explain why people so often make decisions in public or private life that give rise to their personal Bays of Pigs. Some of the theoretical concepts and findings that have emerged point to ways of preventing gross miscalculations and improving the quality of decision making.

Keywords

Balance Sheet Decisional Conflict Contingency Plan Personal Decision Coping Pattern 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Irving Janis
    • 1
  • Leon Mann
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyYale UniversityNew HavenUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyFlinders UniversityBedford ParkSouth Australia

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