Patterns of Irrational or Unethical Decision Making

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The four patterns of unethical or irrational decision making provide various perspectives under which several issues can be established. According to Paul and Elder (2014), the four patterns include behaving in ways that undermine the welfare of others and associating with people who encourage activities that go against an individual or other people’s welfare. The other pattern is deciding not to engage in activities that contribute to people’s welfare. These patterns cause a deviation from behavior that is considered rational and ethical.

Experiences and Critical Reflection

There was an occasion when I decided to behave in a manner that undermines our welfare. I was visiting a particular city in the summer and had set a financial budget to sustain me throughout my stay in the area. My intention and desire were to stick to the budget and operate within the rules I set for myself. However, I made an irrational decision by going against the spending plan by overspending. For instance, I spent beyond the financial budget by purchasing items that were not intended. In fact, I spent three times the amount of my budget. That was an irrational decision that should not have manifested.

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Egocentricism played a significant role in ensuring the irrational decision-making on that occasion. There was the distinct inability to differentiate between the others and self. Essentially, I did not understand whether the things purchased or the extravagant tendencies supported my well-being or the others as well. Egocentric myopia characterized my decision-making on that day. My thinking was absolutist to the extent that it was based on a narrow point of view (Sarno, 2007). Looking back, I would have stayed within the budget because the engagement in extravagant tendencies and impulse buying jeopardized my welfare.

Another pattern of unethical or irrational decision making is behaving in a manner that undermines the welfare of another person. There is a time my friend decided to drive after spending some time in an entertainment joint. The decision to drive after drinking was irrational and unethical. Even though my friend was not involved in any fatalities, the idea of driving after drinking for hours was not appropriate. However, we both should have come up with a better solution to prevent the deviant behavior. On the other hand, my friend should have tried to consider the welfare of others and not just himself. For example, if he had involved himself in a road accident, the emotional implications would have been critical.

Looking back, I think both of us should have played a critical role in ensuring rational and ethical decision-making. For example, my friend should have avoided the idea of driving under the influence. Sociocentrism, putting the welfare and concerns for others first should have informed the decision-making process (Siegel, 2013). There are instances when people make decisions without thinking about the implications of such tendencies. Irrational or unethical decision-making can affect the welfare of an individual and that of other people.

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  1. Paul, R., & Elder, L. (2014). Critical thinking: Tools for taking charge of your professional and personal life. Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson Education.
  2. Sarno, J. E. (2007). The divided mind: The epidemic of mindbody disorders. New York: Harper Collins.
  3. Siegel, H. (2013). Educating reason. Routledge.
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