Steps toward promoting consistency in educational decisions

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The literature indicates the advantages of decisions formulated through intuition, as well as the limitations, such as lack of consistency in similar situations. The principle of consistency (invariance), requiring that two equivalent versions of choice-problems will produce the same preference, is violated in intuitive judgment. This paper aims to examine the contribution of the simple decision process (SDP) to invariance in intuitive educational decisions. The SDP integrates intuitive and systematic techniques by breaking down a dilemma into simple problems that can be processed intuitively with little or no perturbation by bias. Design/methodology/approach: In total, 40 teachers resolved a complex educational dilemma three times intuitively, with the same data presented in a different order in each iteration. Content analysis revealed inconsistency in the conclusions reached with the three formats. This is explained in the literature by the anchoring effect. Thereafter, the three-step procedure was repeated, with the participation of 246 teachers using SDP. A statistical analysis showed significant invariance with respect to decisions made during the three trials. Findings: An SDP formulated decision is not affected by the order of data presentation. The principle of invariance, a sine qua non in analyzing rational choices, is maintained Originality/value: The article sheds light on the potential inherent in integration of intuition and common sense with analytical thought-patterns in educational decisions and in other fields that involve probabilistic determinations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-115
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Educational Management
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2010


  • Decision making
  • Decision support systems
  • Intuition
  • Israel
  • Problem solving


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