Students demonstrate the ability to apply various decision-making strategies and employ a rational process that avoids rationalizations and elevates logic over emotions and facts over feelings including:  

1) Identifying long-term and short-term objectives; 

2) Devising alternative courses of action to achieve the objectives; 

3) Foreseeing potential consequences to each person or group effected by the decision (i.e., stakeholder); 

4) Choosing the course of action most likely to produce the optimum (i.e., best possible) result; and

5) Monitoring the effectiveness of the decision and making adjustments necessary to achieve the objectives.

1 Examples of classic decision-making strategies: 1) Role Model Test – do what you think a person you admire for ethics and wisdom would do. (e.g., Mother Teresa, your grandmother); 2) Publicity Rule – only do what you would do if you knew your decision would be known by everyone (e.g., reported on the 5 o’clock news or on Facebook); 3) Positive Outcome Test (consequentialism) – when ethical values conflict (e.g., where the truth would be unkind) choose the best possible result by determining which option is most likely to produce the most long-term good and do the least harm for the most people; 4) Moral Absolutism (Moral Imperative) standard – on matters involving core ethical convictions, treat ethical obligations as absolute and do nothing that would violate any ethical principle. 


I will be a better student if I act on the following belief:


  • I will avoid resorting to rationalizing the decisions I make. 


  • Understand the difference between a rationalization and a rational decision. 
  • Prepare scenarios that allow you to determine a course of action that is based on rational decision-making. 
  • Use literary works or historical documents to discuss if the choices made were rational or rationalizations.