Re: "Satisficing" vs. "Optimizing"
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Sat, 22 May 2010 13:33:20 -0700 (PDT)

On May 21, 2010, at 9:48 PM, Thomas Lofft wrote:

'Satisficing' has certainly been in the community planning jargon since the 1960's. It is a concept in rational decision making that is contrasted to 'optimization'. Satisficing is dependent upon first being able to come to agreement on the criteria for a decision. The Satisficing principle says, 'If an alternative meets all the criteria, then it is acceptable.'

But the part I like is that the decision must be satisfying -- not just sufficing. A solution can meet the criteria and still not be satisfying. I'm of course thinking of satisfying in terms of the person accepting the decision, not someone else making it for them.

I find all the criteria defining to be incredibly frustrating because the people who insist on doing it too often want the criteria to be all inclusive and precise. The criteria also only need to be satisficing.

If two people are deciding where to have lunch, they can think for 10 seconds and each one suggest a place, and decide between them, or they can stand there and define all their criteria first, and probably end up at the same place but their lunch hour may be over.

Sharon Villines
The truth is more important than the facts. -- Frank Lloyd Wright

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