Emotions impact decision making. Normative decision making models struggle to internalize this impact. Resentment, grievance, and bitterness are similar to each other, but different enough for me to include them all. They are low grade long term emotions that seem dysfunctional for those who carry them, but maybe functional at some level to encourage us to treat others better.
According to Wikipedia resentment is a complex, multilayered emotion that has been described as a mixture of disappointment, disgust, anger, and fear. You can feel resentment directly toward a person or group for how they mistreated you or you can feel resentment toward a person or group because they have been treated better by others or seem better in some way than you. Grievance somehow seems more specific, while bitterness seems more general and resigned. Resentment is anger’s passive aggressive brother.
In 2022, resentment seems to be driving all sorts of decision making all over the world. Vladimir Putin declares war on Ukraine. Millions of people suddenly do not want to get vaccinated and millions of others believe an election was stolen without evidence.
Confidence is defined as our degree of belief that a certain thought or action is correct. There is confidence in your own individual decisions or perceptions and then the between person confidence where you defer your own decision making to someone else.
Why am I thinking of confidence? An article by Cass Sunstein explains it well. The article appeared in Bloomberg, Politics & Policy, October 18, 2018, Bloomberg Opinion, “Donald Trump is Amazing. Here’s the Science to Prove It.”
This post is based on a July 2009 paper, “Strategic Decision Making Paradigms: a Primer for Senior Leaders,” that was written by Col. Charles D. Allen and Dr. Breena E. Coates both of the Army War College. Although much in the paper has been touched upon in prior posts, it summarizes several models for strategic decision making, and includes some with which I am unfamiliar. It is public sector oriented it includes some good examples related to the defense of the nation. It also sets the stage for another post on muddling through. Strategic decisions entail “ill-structured, “messy” or “wicked problems” that do not have quick, easy solutions. They often end in so called “error of the third kind”, where complex problems are often addressed with a correct solution to the wrong problem.