Worked out example -Should I Do it ?

Not all choice problems are like choosing an option among a list of options. Rather, sometimes, you may have a problem like 'Should I do it?' or 'Should I go there ?', 'Should I accept the proposal'? etc...

When you have such problem, you can solve the problem easily using the Pros and Cons Tool.

1. You can list the Pros and Cons of the Action that you are in dilemma.

2. Set Importance level for each Pro and Con using either direct Importance level or Money as a Value measure or Pairwise comparison.

3. Identity if there is any uncertainty if so, set the Probability of those Pro/Con.

Finally, the tool will calculate the overall worthiness of the Action.

If the worthiness value is greater than 0, then you have more Pros weight than Cons. So, you should do the action.

If the worthiness value is less than 0, then you have more Cons weight than Pros. So, you should not do the action.

Let's simulate an example problem. You have received a job offer. You are in a dilemma if you should take the job or not. Because, you see some good things on the job, but also at the same time, you see some problems with the job too.


Now, once these facts are modeled in the Pros Cons Analyzer app, the result panel shows the net worthiness of the option, which is shown as -5. As the value is less than 0, the column chart shows the column in RED color. Which means, 'Do not take the offer'.

If the Column color were GREEN, you could consider that it is a good choice.

Here is the screenshot of the tool with this model.


Risk Profile

Let's have a close look at the Risk Profile chart in the Result Panel:

Risk_ Profile

The risk profile chart is showing that, based on uncertainty, there can be total 4 possible outcomes of this job offer. They are

The combination of uncertainty outcomes are :

1. Promotion happened AND I got a better offer after I joined.
2. Promotion Not happened AND I got a better offer after I joined
3. Promotion happened AND I did not get a better offer after I joined ...(regret)
4. Promotion Not happened AND I did not get a better offer after I joined (won't regret)

Based on these 4 combinations of events, total worthiness of the action can be calculated as a set of -60 (WORST CASE), -40, 0, 20 (BEST CASE)

That means, worst case, you may have negative 60 units of worthiness, which is bad. In the best case, you can have 20 unit of worthiness. The risk profile chart shows the probability of each of these outcomes on the Y axis where the outcome is shown on the X-axis.

For example, the probability of the outcome of -60 (WORST CASE) is close to 20%

The probability of the outcome 0 is close to 55%.

The probability of the outcome of 20 (BEST CASE) is close to 19%.

So, you can see that the probability of BEST CASE and Worth CASE is almost same.

The probability of worthiness 0 is 55%, which is the highest probability. So, you can say that there is a high probability that your Pros and Cons cancels out each other and you will be in a neutral state if you take this job.

There is a tab named 'Value Set' which simply displays all the possible values, smallest to highest, without any probability information.


Most Likelihood Value

When you model uncertainty in a decision context, you will see a Metric chooser section where you can choose to show Most Likelihood Value.

The most likelihood value is the value that considers only the outcome that can have the highest probability. Let's look back to our Pros list. The probability of getting the promotion is 25%. So, 75% probability is NOT getting the promotion, right? And if you do get the promotion, your importance of that PRO will be 20. But, if you do not get the promotion, your importance of that PRO is not 20, right? So, we can say that the importance of NOT getting the promotion is simply void, or 0, right? Most likelihood strategy is to pick that value 0 as that has the higher probability of getting the promotion.

In this way, if you calculate the worthiness of all Pros and Cons, you will get the total worthiness of the Action is 5. So, If you are a person who always cares about the most probabilistic event, then you can consider this job worthiness is 5 unit, which is greater than 0, so you can take the job. But, if you want to consider all the other outcomes that may occur, then as the Expected Value chart indicated NEGATIVE 5, you should not take the job offer.


Last updated on 28 July 2018, Saturday, 7:50:35 AM
If you have any questions or concerns about this tutorial, Please feel free to share your comment.