OODA Alpha, Part IV: Decision

Decision occurs when individuals “decide among action alternatives that are generated in the Orientation phase” (Osinga, 2007, 232) corresponds to thinking, the purposeful tasks of argumentation, decision making, judgment, planning, and problem solving (Moshman, 1995a). This portion of the OODA loop is familiar from many of the more noble theories in educational psychology. It also is important for understanding rationalization, which impacts its most important role: long-term change of orientation.

Rationality is often seem as falling under decision. Decision is necessary but not sufficient for rationality, thinking about thinking (Schraw & Moshman, 1995; Moshman 2005) or having good reasons for one’s actions (Moshman 1994). It is also critical for the development of epistemic cognition (Southerland, Sinatra, & Matthews, 2001; Moshman, 2007a), identity (Marcia, 1966; Erickson, 1968), morality, (Arnold, 2000; Kohlberg, 1981, 1984; Piaget, 1932/1965) and rational moral identity (Moshman, 1995b, 2004, 2005). The development of rationality, and thus better decision making ability more broadly, has even been argued as the proper focus of education (Moshman, 1990b, 2005; Stanovich, 2001) .


Post-hoc rationalizations also are driven by System 2 processes. Decision making is the normally invoked explanation for decisions (Maier, 1931; Wegner, 2002), even when such contradicts an individuals observations (Thompson, et al., 2004). For example, individuals claim activities they completed successfully are more worthwhile than tasks they do not so complete (Tesser & Paulhaus, 1983). This is especially true of people who show self-serving behavior generally (Tesser 2000, 2001; von Hippel, Lakin, & Shakarchi, 2005). However, any desire to undo or dampen this must be moderated by findings that self-serving processing correlates with higher performance (Nasco & Marsh, 1999).


OODA Alpha, a tdaxp series
1. Abstract
2. Dual Processing Systems
3. The OODA Loop
4. Decision
5. Orientation
6. A Theory of Mind
7. Reorientation
8. Disorientation
9. Education
10. Instruction
11. Student Interaction
12. Creativity
13. Conclusion
14. Bibliography