Bring Your Questions for Decision-Making Guru Ralph Keeney
Ralph Keeney, a decision analyst at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, uses decision sciences to give “practical and usable advice” to help people make decisions, from lifestyle choices to management strategies.
Keeney claims that good decisions can even cheat death. A recent study of his, as reported in Wired, argued that 55 percent of U.S. deaths among people aged 15 to 64 were due to risky lifestyle choices, compared to just 5 percent a century ago. Why? Because, Keeney claims, most people are really bad at doing cost-benefit calculations. (Related: as Gary Becker once wrote, all deaths are, to some degree, suicides.)
Before coming to Duke, Keeney taught at M.I.T. and U.S.C., and was a research scholar at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis in Austria; he also founded a decision- and risk-analysis group at a geotechnical and environmental consulting firm. His most recent book, co-authored with John Hammond and Howard Raiffa, is Smart Choices: A Practical Guide to Making Better Life Decisions.
Keeney has agreed to take your questions about decision-making, so fire away in the comments section below. As with past Q&A’s, we’ll post Keeney’s answers here in short course.