r39 Chapter Six Decision-Maldng Episodes Requiring the Negotiation Decision Strategy egotiation decision-making episodes stress the weighing of

r39

Chapter Six

Decision-Maldng Episodes
Requiring the Negotiation

Decision Strategy
egotiation decision-making episodes
stress the weighing of options and.the
criteria used as the basis for selecting

options. Its basic function is to help students
develop ways to make decisions where they must
surrender one group ofoptions in order to obtain
a group of options they value more highly. This
format of the decision-making episode can also be
used to provide students with practice coping
with situations where individuals must accept
certain-evils in order to avoid greater ones.

The negotiation format contains four essen-
tial components elenients. There is:r a story providing a context in which an

individual (or group) confronts the need
to select a set ofhighly valued options at
the expense ofa set ofoptions she or he or
the group also values;

. .lj$ of nine or more options from which a
student must select the third that are most
preferred and the third that she or he is
most willing to surrender in 6rder to ensure
the first group ofoptions are obtained;o decision sheets on which students record
both the group of options they most pre-
fer and the group of options theyare will-
ing to give up and the consequences like.
ly to result flom their decisions; andr a set ofquestions suggestive ofthe kinds
of questions that will be raised during the
follow-up discussion of the episode once
students have made their decisions.

The list of options and the decision sheets
warrant further attention.

The list of options should be homogeneous. For
instance, if statements of consequences are used,
then all statements should,be expressed as conse-
quences. Or, if statements of’feasons are used, then
all statements should be phrased as reasons.
Furthermore, all options should be designed to
evoke either positive or negative reactions from

students: that is, students should wish that they
could choose all the options or that they could avoid
having to choose zmy one or more of all the options.

Decision sheets provide students with a struc-
ture within which they can complete the pre-decision
and final decision tasks. These also help students to
engage in a conscious examination of the basis for
and consequences of their choices. Students may be
instructed in these decision sheets to list the positive
effects of their preferred options and the negative
effects that would have resulted from the choices
they chose to reject. In some instances students are
guided to examine the negative consequences of
their preferred options and the positive conse-
quences lost by rejecting (or ignoring) other options.

When a student has completed the decision
sheets provided for a negotiation episode, he or
she has generalized that three options are best
and that three are far less desirable and are to be
given up or rejected. He also will list conse-
quences likely to follow from each of these deci-
sions. In effect, the student has classified items or
courses of action based on personal values about
a particular situation in terms of relevant beliefs
and disbeliefs, preferences, or likes and dislikes.

SAMPLES

Six examples of the negotiation format of deci-
sion-making episodes follow. Although each con-
tains the four components outlined above, activities
consistent with this decision stratery format can be
styled in different fashions. They may incorporate
rank ordering; they should incorporate the search
for criteria and consequences. The reader will want
to be alert to these variations as well as to the four
components required by the negotiation format as
the examples are studied. In addition, the teacher
may find it useful to practice completing decision
sheets for some or all of these learning episodes to
experience the “feel” of using this decision stratery.

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