Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions

Gary Klein


Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions

Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions

  • Title: Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions
  • Author: Gary Klein
  • ISBN: 9780262611466
  • Page: 339
  • Format: Paperback



Most studies of decision making treat humans like rats in a laboratory But Dr Klein, a cognitive psychologist, spent a decade watching fire commanders, fighter pilots, paramedics and others making split second decisions on the job, and this book is a clear and engaging account of his findings The Wall Street Journal Anyone who watches the television news has seen Most studies of decision making treat humans like rats in a laboratory But Dr Klein, a cognitive psychologist, spent a decade watching fire commanders, fighter pilots, paramedics and others making split second decisions on the job, and this book is a clear and engaging account of his findings The Wall Street Journal Anyone who watches the television news has seen images of firefighters rescuing people from burning buildings and paramedics treating bombing victims How do these individuals make the split second decisions that save lives Most studies of decision making, based on artificial tasks assigned in laboratory settings, view people as biased and unskilled Gary Klein is one of the developers of the naturalistic decision making approach, which views people as inherently skilled and experienced It documents human strengths and capabilities that so far have been downplayed or ignored Since 1985 Klein has conducted fieldwork to find out how people tackle challenges in difficult, nonroutine situations Sources of Power is based on observations of humans acting under such real life constraints as time pressure, high stakes, personal responsibility, and shifting conditions The professionals studied include firefighters, critical care nurses, pilots, nuclear power plant operators, battle planners, and chess masters Each chapter builds on key incidents and examples to make the description of the methodology and phenomena vivid In addition to providing information that can be used by professionals in management, psychology, engineering, and other fields, the book presents an overview of the research approach of naturalisticdecision making and expands our knowledge of the strengths people bring to difficult tasks.


Recent Comments "Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions"

BOOK REVIEW: Finally finished reading "Sources of Power: How People Make Decisions" (1999) by Gary A. Klein. Firstly, what made me read this book was that it is referred by Daniel Kahneman in his book "Thinking, Fast and Slow".This book is very different from other psychology books because, while most of them are based on cognitive psychology and scientifically tested in controlled labs, Klein is against all that and the contents are based on applied psychology and empirically observed in real-l [...]

This is a book very much along the lines of Blink by Malcolm Gladwell but in my opinion it dives deeper into the understanding of how people actually make decisions. Gladwell's book is certainly very interesting and highly recommended but this book is probably for those that wish to take the next step in their understanding of the decision process.The book is easy to read and very engaging. It provides real world examples of how good and bad decision were made and the processes behind these. It [...]

I'm not really sure how to review this book - imagine you were put in a room and asked 'how do people make decisions' for both crisis situations or planned situations. I would hazard to guess that you would be able to come to the same conclusions much the same way as this book.Feeling eerily like common sense, this long study (funded by the Dept. of Defense) makes such propositions that experience plays an important role in crisis decisionsc. etc.I really learned nothing from this book and I'm n [...]

Excellent book. Don't get hung up on the title. Understand the value of experience and trusting your gut.

It was a less entertaining but better version of Blink. A look at what the mind does well instead of how it fails to reflect reality.I liked the idea of how experience increases your level of abstraction and thereby lets you build better mental models.Same for the idea of balancing goal completion and goal renewal.That last quote <=> business?Quotes:"We have found that people draw on a large set of abilities that are sources of power. The conventional sources of power include deductive log [...]

The result of years of research about decision making. Spoiler: we rarely compare alternative paths of action. Instead, we seize on something we think will work, then evaluate that. If we decide it's unworkable, then we move on to the next obvious option, and down the list.

Sources of Power is the kind of work that should be required reading for anyone who has to deal with people on a daily basis. Since almost all of us deal with people making decisions daily, that means almost all of us should read this book.Klein explores the various methods we use to make decisions when we have both expert and non-expert knowledge in a particular field. Along the way, he addresses group thinking processes, communicating intent effectively, and other cognitive findings while bril [...]

This is a valuable book on how and why people make decisions. I really liked the book. There are a plethora of stories illustrating decision making processes in a variety of field. Dr. Klein does an excellent job of breaking down these stories and explaining what is really going on. I genuinely feel I have a better understanding of decision making after reading this book. So, why did I give it three stars? The book is too long. Every subsequent chapter builds on the previous chapter, but the val [...]

Interesting, but not interesting enough to request a second time after my library renewals ran out. So it's been returned unfinished. But the time I spent reading it was time well spent.

Ground-breaking, extensive research into decision-making in naturalistic environment, where time pressure and stakes are high. Looking into how experienced firefighters, military personnel, nurses, chess masters and other domain experts make their decisions in real-time situations, where context and conditions vary immensely, the author identifies a model for experiential decision-making, which is very different from traditional models of rational decision-making.The sources of power identified [...]

For those interested in decision making I consider this book as compulsory position. Mathematicians and AI developers can gain an interesting insight in nature of everyday decision making process.

One of the best books I've ever read on decision making. Recommended highly for newcomers to the subject, as much as for the more experienced readers.

Experience vs Rational Decision Modeling vs RMD Artificial Intelligence vs. Inquiry based thinking

This was an interesting, though oddly named, investigation into the process of decision making. Klein spent years researching the process of making decisions, and discovered that the standard model (listing options, comparing them, choosing the most favorable) is wildly inaccurate, and rarely used. Rather, people tend to make decisions based on analogies and scenarios developed through experience.This book has huge quantities of interesting information, presented in a slightly scattershot way (i [...]

First half has good information and ideas on how to help improve training for decision making, but after chapter 7 it starts to loose steam.(view spoiler)[Experience counts!1. Seeking to look at decision making in natural settings versus a laboratory. Defined terms and structure of the book. Explained how natural settings may not always have clean cut boundaries.2. Comparative evaluations while common in non-time sensitive tasks do not occur with time constraints. View an incident in its parts c [...]

This is a fascinating book that explores the cognitive processes and methodologies involved in "naturalistic decision making" made by experts. Essentially, this means time- and stress-pressured decisions made by people in high-intensity occupation like tank platoon commanders, pilots, firefighters, neonatal nurses, nuclear facility engineers, and more.The book, which can occasionally be a little difficult to get through, has beautiful nuggets of information spread throughout that deal with the w [...]

I'm about half-way through this, and I find it not only interesting but also encouraging, in a weird sort of way.He talks about how the meticulous analytical decision-making process, where you line up all the options and compare them so you can choose the best one, is not really what people do. In fact, people use their experience-based expertise, intuition, and other methods to make decisions much more quickly, and they are usually better decisions than they would make with the analytical proce [...]

Many studies of how we make decisions treat experience as interference, and seek to eliminate it from the tests. Gary Klein examines how people use experience in high-pressure decision making, such as Fire Fighters, Military Commanders, and ICU doctors. Many of these people say they don't make decisions at all, they look at a situation and simply know what to do. Of course there's something more complex going on here, but people are unable to describe it.Klein has found good explanations, using [...]

I read this due to the recommendation in Thinking Fast and Slow. Klien's work provides a nice counterbalance to Kahneman. This book attempts to unravel how experts make decisions - particularly under time constraints / pressure. The RL stories he uses as examples are informative and his hypothesis that experts don't use "standard problem solving" as modelled by the textbooks in which many alternate solutions are generated and weighed against each other. Klien posits another model in which approp [...]

Sources of Power has a lot of valuable ideas, but it is not a very good book. Compared to its content, it is rather long, and it often reads more like a research log.This results in a very uneven text. There are many brilliant insights to the human decision-making process, but there is also a lot of content that is not very interesting or useful. Some of the findings are rather superficial, and Klein spends a lot of pages describing in detail how he and his colleagues implemented their research [...]

Interesting insight into naturalistic decision making, spread over 25 years of research. Provides a lot of perspectives on what is going on in our mind when making decisions. Also challenges a number of existing theories of how decisions are made. The results are a model that is a bit fuzzier, but seem to be more representative of what is actually happening.Do note that this is most definitely a write up of academic research. It is a bit impenetrable at times, so unless you are a studying in thi [...]

I appreciated this study of how we think and what methods we use to make decisions, and it's good to see it studied even if some of the conclusions here seemed super obvious. (I've also read a good bit in the field, though, so I may not have been the best target audience for this book. If it's your first encounter with analyzing how people make decisions under stress and/or time constraints, the conclusions probably seem way more mind-blowing.) I admit, I skipped every single flow chart in it th [...]

I read this book as a counterpoint to Daniel Kahneman's phenomenal Thinking Fast & Slow. Kahneman is a member of the "heuristics and biases" school of decision theory. He uses laboratory results to show how the bounds of human rationality result in objectively poor decisions.Klein, as a researcher in the "naturalistic decision making" school, takes the very different approach. He interviews experts in all sorts of fields and tries to understand how they make predictions and decisions so much [...]

This is an insightful book, exploring how we make decisions. Remember the old Ben Franklin approach? Two columns on a piece of paper: One column is headed reasons to decide yes and the other why we would not make the decision. Whichever side has the most entries determines our decision. Others argue that humans use a rational calculus to make decisions. What are the costs and benefits of any decision?The reality, though, is much different. Klein's book talks about how we make decisions based on [...]

Semi-scientific fieldwork to discover how people make important decisions under pressure. The answer? Good decision-makers have experience; they recognize the parallels between the current situation and previous one ("Recognition-Primed Decision Making" or the RPD model). When faced with a novel situation, they are good at imagining the consequences of a decision in great detail, simulating it to discover flaws. In a few cases, where the decision-maker is a novice, they lay out several options a [...]

Great book about decision making processes on professionals of different areas ranging from military setting to nurses working on maternity wards. Most enjoyable were the numerous different real life examples of good and bad decision making Klein dissected and explained why the decisions were made the way they were made. I am always a bit suspicious when books highlight the use of intuition however Klein underlined that what he meant with intuition is the ability to detect subtle clues and other [...]

This book had really interesting information about expert decision making. In particular how intuitive experience trumps careful analysis time after time. The biggest takeaway for me applied to work and life was that "find a good solution that works and do it" is much better than "debate, study, analyze, and compare two good solutions to figure out which is best". The cons are that this book is totally repetitive. I would have liked it to be about 1/4 the size it was with more concise and less r [...]

This book explores a paradigm for naturalistic decision-making called "Recognition Primed Decisions" in which experts in high-pressure situations use the intuition and metaphors of their experience to generate mental simulations for a current experience. They monitor for anomalies and revise as indicated. Experimentally, Klein and his colleagues found this model more frequently resembles decision-making than any of the models that involve direct comparison between competing options. It is a fasc [...]

a fascinating complement to thinking fast and slow, doing similar justice to another life's work in the field of cognition and decision making. takes a much more hopeful view of humanity than kahneman, with extensive and compelling case studies of where intuitive decision making can lead to good performance, with particular focus on firefighters, nurses and the military. thoughtful, engaging and humane.

This book analyses how people make decisions. It is good to have the background to know how people make decisions and what influences them doing so.I guess it's good knowledge to have and it is pretty cool to see it explained. But the book was a bit dry and I struggled to get to the end of it.The key take-away for me was that as a manager, when you tell someone to do something, that you should make sure that people understand what you want done. Don't assume they get it. Make sure.


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