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Rules and responsibility

Rules of all kinds help us make good decisions all day long, but how does that affect our responsibility for these decisions?

Decision-making is effortful. Even if we have only two options to choose from, they often both have numerous pluses and minuses that need to be weighed up. Thankfully, we can often rely on rules that act as shortcuts and take much of that hard work away.

Old IBM mainframe computer
Old IBM mainframe computer
The perfect purchase to cover your backside (photo: Kevin Walter/Flickr CC BY)

Replacing our judgement

In essence, rules replace our judgement. They are constructed on the basis of a set of assumptions which, if we just follow them, are not verified. And as long as these assumptions hold sufficiently true, following the rules will produce a satisfactory outcome.

Opportunities to break the rules

And we saw some intriguing differences appear.

Pfizer vaccine vials
Pfizer vaccine vials
Over there it has been approved, but here you’ll have to wait for another three weeks (photo: Marco Verch/Flickr CC BY)

Written by

Accidental behavioural economist in search of wisdom. Uses insights from (behavioural) economics in organization development. On Twitter as @koenfucius

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