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Is Decisionmaking An Art or A Science

We make decisions everyday on nearly everything we do, but nearly all of it are made
subconsciously without us even realizing that we have decided on something. Decisionmaking
is a hybrid of both art and science, as it contains a combination of both and we cannot make a
single decision without a one or the other.
Science
Many times we make decisions using our knowledge of math and statistics, as we
analyze previously gathered data, either by someone else or from our own pool of stored
experiences. This is how most of the intelligent decisions are processed, debated and decided.
Using the game of poker as an example of scientific decisionmaking, we can use statistics of
the likelihood of each hands chance of winning to base our decisions to whether, raise, call, or
fold. Such as, we understand that pocket aces have 85% chance of winning against any hand
in a heads-up situation, and if the opponent has hit a set off the flop, it still retains a 20% chance
of winning the hand. We make decisions at each step according to the amount of risk we want
to take, knowing the approximate predetermined outcome would be. A scientific decision would
not alter or change with situational differences, as using our pocket example, the chance to be
dealt pocket aces is a fixed formula, as (4/52) X (3/51) = 221:1, or one out of every 221 hands.
This statistic will not ever change and thus the decision should never change, if made purely
scientifically.
Art
This is where how of the impulse, instinctive, and emotional decisions are made. These
decisions are purely driven by our bodys emotional response, or instinct. It is how we traverse
through life topics such as, art, fight or flight, and even the unknown. Continuing to use the
poker example, we understand that the game of poker is a game of both luck and skill, but it is
also a game of deception as we do not know what the other players hold. In poker, an art

decision would be an instinctive decision or gut decision. An example could be, how a player
handles a hot/winning streak. Despite knowing the odds of an inferior hand, the player could
begin to leverage luck, because he is feeling it. The feeling that drives the decision is not
based on a natural law or a mathematical formula, it is driven by natural emotions and instincts.
Many classic players have relied on instinct to read the game successfully, as opposed to the
newer methodical/mathematical players, who rely on statistics and kept emotions in check.
Conclusion
Poker is a great example of how decisions are made both through science and through
art. As the majority of the decisions in our daily lives are made through a hybrid of both. We
cannot live without the help of one or the other, as if we only make scientific decisions then we
would have no way to traverse through the unknown, and if we only make artistic decisions, we
would be too irrational for our own good.