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I am providing you this Outline and Checklist for your Final Paper. Use this Outline and Checklist when writing your FINAL PAPER. Do not delete any of the sections of this outline.


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1. From the
Harvard Press Review Book
select one (1) chapter as the basis for your paper.

· Hidden Traps…

· What you don’t know…

· Conquering a culture…

· How (un)ethical are you?

2. From your chosen chapter select
one (1) element you would like to write about. For example: The chapter on Hidden Traps talks about seven (7) different traps. If you select this chapter, select only one (1) trap to write about for your entire paper.

3. From that one (1) element come up with
one (1) primary question or issue you have, directly related to that one element..

4. Use the given
Title page
Table of Contents
as provided. Do not make changes. Make sure you retain the formatting.

5. Follow the instructions in the Final Paper Checklist. Make sure that you have covered off all the points.

6. VERY IMPORTANT POINT – Use the transition sentences high lighted in yellow to end and start off each sections of your paper. Past student who did not follow this point lost significant marks.

7. The Title page, Table of Contents, Paper Outline, Writing Quality, Citations, and Referencing must all be written following APA writing guidelines. Not following APA will result in 5 mark deduction. Consult the school’s APA writing guidelines.

8. You must reference at least six (6)
authors in your paper. Properly citing and referencing other authors in your paper is particularly important.

9. IMPORTANT. Your paper must be written in “one voice”. This means each person’s contributions should be edited to where there is no distinction between who wrote what.

10. The page count for the paper is
approximately eleven (11) full pages. Word Count – 3000 min. (not including Title Page, Table of Contents, and References). Not following the Page Count will result in a 5 mark deduction.

11. Late papers will receive a 5 mark deduction.

12. This paper is worth 15% of your course mark. See the marking Rubric below

Paper Title

Student Name(s)
Trinity Western University for the International Degree Completion Program
LDRS 320 I2 Ethical Decision Making
Mr. Gerald Van Dyck
April 30, 2021

Table of Contents

Project Definition ………………………………………………………….……..


Introduction ..…………………………………………………………….……..


Paper’s Statement …..………………………………………………….……


Purpose …………………………………………………………….…………..


Analysis ……………………..……………………………………………….……


Response to Challenges in Decision-Making …………………………..………




Final thoughts and Conclusion………………………….…………………..….


References …………………………………………………………………………


References ……………………………………………….…………………..….



Project Definition

Introduction (1 page)
In this section write a one page introduction about your paper. Include the following:
· ☐ Provide a
very brief overview
of the entire chapter you selected. Introduce the basic idea of the chapter.
· ☐ State what the author is trying to prove in this chapter.
· ☐ Explain how this chapter’s ideas has impact on decision-making.
· ☐ Mention that your paper will be taking a critical analysis approach to the paper.
· ☐ Include a brief explanation of what you mean by a critical analysis approach to the paper.
· ☐ End this section by specifically stating the one (1) element/issue you want to write about and what you hope to achieve. Use the following phrase:
· ☐ “I am writing a paper about ……”

The Paper’s Question ( Question and Purpose 1page)
In this section develop your paper’s question and purpose.
· ☐ State that the scope of the paper is limited to your one (1) element/issue using the following phrase:
· ☐
“ The scope of this paper is limited to ……….” [Remember, you do not need to discuss the entire chapter]
· ☐ Say why this one (1) element is important to you.
· ☐
“ This is issue is important to me because……….”

· ☐ After you have made this clear, state your main question. This question should be specific enough so you can realistically solve a problem in 10 pages. Otherwise, the scope of the paper is too broad.
· ☐ “The main question, therefore, I am trying to answer is…”

In this section you want to inform what your are trying to achieve. Begin with:
· ☐ “The purpose of this paper is to…”
· ☐ State the reason for the paper and what you hope to achieve…. state what your goals are.
· ☐ Part of your purpose is to gather information that answers or confirms the paper’s question, towards making recommendations to solve the decision-making issue you identified.


Response to Challenges in Decision-Making (6 to 7 pages)
This is the critical analysis part of your paper.
Step 1:
· ☐ You need to bridge your Question and Purpose to the analysis section of your paper.
Start this section :
· ☐ “As stated earlier the scope of this paper is limited to answering the question -…. [insert question]…… We asked this question with the purpose of ………..”

Step 2:
· ☐ Begin the critical analysis of the chapter by briefly re-phrasing what you wrote in your Introduction about the Chapter.
Step 3:
· ☐ This is where you do your critical analysis of only the one (1) issue/question you identified. This is where you use the research you did on at least six (6) other authors.
· ☐ Gather facts only from the chapter and six (6) other literary sources that relate to your one (1) issue. Since your scope is limited to one issue you will need many outside references to support your arguments.
· ☐ From the facts/literature gathered, write about what all the other authors say about your question
· ☐ Make sure you cite all of the other authors correctly. You must give proper credit to each author you use in your paper. See APA on how to cite authors.
Step 4:
· ☐ After step 3, state your own personal opinions. Explain what you think about the issue, and what you think of the problem.
· ☐ Support your opinion with examples and other authors’ writings.
· ☐ Again, make sure you cite correctly. This is an especially important part of the paper for me.
· Use the following phrases:
· ☐ “It is our opinion that ….”, “we believe that ….” or “we think ….”, “we are of the opinion that….”
· ☐ “To support our argument, we provide the following example:” “For example …..”, “The following example supports our idea that…..”

Step 6:
· ☐ Make good and realistic recommendations on how to possibly fix things the issue you are writing about.
· ☐ Recommendations can come from the chapter, the other references or from your own thoughts.
· ☐ Make sure you cite correctly.
· Use phrases like……
· ☐ “We recommend ….”, “We make the following recommendations …..”


Final Thoughts and Conclusion (2 pages)
This is where you conclude and summarize your ideas and thoughts written above.
The conclusion
must include the following:
· ☐ Start your Conclusion by restating your question and purpose by saying:
· ☐ “ We began this paper by asking the question, [insert question]” Further, our purpose was to [insert purpose]”
· ☐ State whether you successfully answered your question or not by saying:
· ☐ “Based on our analysis, we were able to successfully answer our paper’s question.”
· ☐
(a) the problem you identified in your analysis, (b) your opinions and ideas. This should not be too long, but long enough to understand the findings of your critical analysis. Begin this by saying:
· ☐ “ In summary our analysis shows that ……”
· ☐ You must now conclude. This is your final paragraph. Conclude by using the following phrase:
· ☐ “To conclude, we are of the opinion that to resolve the issue identified in our analysis we make the following recommendations: ……….”
· ☐ It is often good to end with some ‘wise’ final closing sentence by quoting something that relates to your paper.


Citations and references are extremely important in the body of an academic paper.

· ☐ Provide a reference for each additional source you used. Although, the minimum requirement is six (6) additional references, having more adds credibility to you work. It is important that the names cited in the paper match the references in this last section. It is important that I can distinguish between your original thoughts and the thoughts of other authors. All sources must be given their proper credit.

· ☐ Minimum six (6) additional

· ☐ Reference the chapter used from
The Harvard Press Review Book.

· ☐ Please consult and latest version of the APA writing guidelines.


Student Name(s)

Trinity Western University for the International Degree Completion Program

LDRS 320 I2 Ethical Decision Making

Mr. Gerald Van Dyck

April 30, 2021

Project Definition 3



Paper’s Statement



Analysis 4

Response to the Challenges in Decision Making Process

Recommendations 9
Conclusion 10

Final Thoughts and Conclusion

References 13

Project Definition


Decision-making is a very vital job in any executive. The Decision-making process is a very tough and riskiest job that must be done before doing any task. Decision-making is tasked to the top managers in the company. At times in decision making, we are our enemies by letting thoughts interfere in our decisions making hence leading to bad decisions. A bad decision can damage business. Bad decisions can be obtained from alternatives that are not clear, wrong information, benefits and costs which were not correctly weighed. IvyPanda (2020) confirmed that there are some hidden traps that one can fall into when making decisions and end up making a poor decision that will affect the company or themselves. These traps improve our decision-making process. Research shows how Heuristics in decision-making does not guarantee optimal results. Heuristics make people see things differently from how to rely on what they should be. We tend to apply mental shortcuts when making decisions, generating a bigger problem. These hidden traps include The Confirming Evidence Trap, anchoring trap, framing trap, the sunk cost trap, The Strap Quo Trap and The Estimating and Forecasting Traps. This project will focus on a critical analysis of The Confirming Evidence trap, how it occurs, how it affects decision making and how it can be avoided during decision making. The Confirming Evidence Trap seeks out biased information that will support a decided option and omits any opposing information. Confirming evidence trap can be avoided by researching a variety of information from trustworthy sources and weighing it in the same way.

Paper’s Statement

The scope of this paper is limited to The Confirming Evidence Trap. It will figure out what causes the trap, how it affects decision making and how it can be avoided during decision making.

An investigation of the effects of The Confirming Evidence trap and how it can be avoided during decision making.


This paper aims to gather information on the Confirming Evidence Trap in decision making, its effects on the decision-making process in the organization and personal life, and look for ways of avoiding it.


Response to the Challenges in Decision Making Process

As stated in the scope, this research is limited to answering the question- “An investigation on effects of The Confirming Evidence trap and how it can be avoided during decision making” to find how the effects can be mitigated hence avoiding the trap during the decision making process. The Confirming evidence trap leads us to look for information that will support our idea or point during decision making. It ensures that all the contradicting information concerning decision-making is not considered. Confirming Evidence Trap affects where we will collect information of evidence and how the data collected will be interpreted. The data will be interpreted biased with supporting data hence little to the side with conflicting information. Any data that seems to contradict our thinking is dismissed without considering any facts it has concerning what to be decided on. Confirming bias theory states that people can easily process information that will support their beliefs when the issue is of high importance. Confirming Evidence trap can be seen in research, interpretation and memories. In research, we only research for what favors our theories and hypothesis and supports our idea (IvyPanda, 2020). In interpretation, we interpret the evidence to support our opinions. In memories, it is seen when one recalls memories that support the ideas at hand but the information that disproves it is not considered. Philosophers say that once a human has an opinion, it’s hard to process information objectively or rationally. It is confirmed that individuals can give multiple information viewpoints when they are emotionally distant from the issue to be discussed. Biasness is obtained from people who want to make quick decisions to protect themselves from the harm of the correct decision. In the book of social psychology, Sanderson points out that biasness is used when one is forming and re-confirming stereotypes we have concerning people. All the information that changes our expectations is ignored. Stereotype consists of information, and to ignore or even forget the stereotype, inconsistence information is used when even one has to forget about it. It’s hard to forget the old stereotype to keep the first one, so any decision will be based on it.

The institutional theory states that group structures obtain legitimacy by accepting and confirming social institutions, practices and environments. The institutional structure is obtained by forming hierarchy structures to lead others. Powell & DiMaggio (2012) said that as fields mature, organizations become standardized. Companies adopt organizational structures and practices that respect their normal environment to gain legitimacy. When change occurs in the organization is much conformed to institutional practices. Paul Boyce confirms that biasness can be created by political beliefs. This is where a group of people does not change its leaning concerning voting. They don’t listen to any new candidate to make a new decision; they only vote where they have been voting, hence evidencing the biasness trap in politics.

Additionally, eye witness account shows that the biasness trap also exists. Indecision concerning criminal justice one can overlook some facts to put the person they want to jail in prison, confirming biasness. Paul Boyce confirms that confirming the Evidence Trap affects decision-making injustice and political matters, making the wrong decision. Psychology also affects decision-making, causing people to fall into confirming evidence trap. In the case of belief perseverance, to make a decision that will shield a person, one has to be biased. Garety et al. (2013, p.335) describe that to support an existing belief or theory, one has to seek information that will align with that, avoiding any evidence on the contrary. Hence a decision will be made as per the thoughts presented.

Research on the Confirming evidence trap has proved that it negatively affects decision-making. Case of situational decision making is among Confirmed Evidence Trap. It’s characterized by having a biased choice regarding several choices. Biasness causes one to manipulate ideas by stressing the negative and positive points to support one’s personal decision. The other people’s ideas are used only to prove that the point should be taken as the correct thing but not contradict it. Therefore, this ensures that the information received will be interpreted to conquer the suggested idea. Evidence confirmed trap affects this decision because one gives opinions based on their predictions and personal individualities. One does not pay attention to what others argue about the point but critically listens and accepts only the supporting views alone. Before deciding, we look at the supportive points hence easily falling into the evidence confirming trap. Confirming biasness theory has essential implications in real-world decision-making example Doctors can make bias confirmation. They jump to conclusions without paying attention to any information that may show that the alternative sickness is most likely to be. Confirming biasness causes miscommunication and conflict in the company and between individuals hence harming the interpersonal relationship. Decision-making is vital in communication; therefore, biasness in any information concerning communication should be carefully considered. Managers should consider only areas that can be compromised but not all of them.

Institutional theory confirms that organizations are much concerned with their institutional environment as an alternative to their goals and activities; hence it conflicts with the efficiency needs. It leads to less priority of values and norms approaches. It asserted that from the above theories that beliefs can affect decision making, we fall in confirming biased decisions. Confirming Evidence trap affects professional decisions hence killing oneself or even a company. According to McFillen, O’Neil, Balzer, & Varney (2013), a doctor can misdiagnose a patient’s sickness due to failure to overlook shreds of evidence that can disconfirm that disease. The scholars suggest that training should be done for new doctors to be aware that such biasness exists. This will reduce diagnostic errors by searching for more evidence to challenge the first diagnosis. Authors say that the Confirming Evidence trap makes us ignore all the contradicting information and focus on what supports us to make a decision that will not harm us. They confirm that Confirming Evidence Trap cause both positive and negative effects on the organization. Positive effects will affect the decision-makers positively, causing no harm to them and the organization, While negative effects will cause conflicts, miscommunication and bring down an organization. This trap prevents us from seeking objective facts and affects how we interpret information to suit us. Confirming Evidence trap leads to mistakes and poor decisions (Cherry,2021). Confirming Evidence Trap is important for it builds one’s confidence; looking for information that supports our ideas makes us feel confident. People can seek information that will support their ideas to protect their self-esteem. It is also used to reduce mental conflict; mental cognitive dissonance theory asserts that people can collect data that favors them to avoid the risk of mental conflict. When one has two different opinions, information causes psychological stress; therefore, giving information that s biased will reduce the negative impacts of the stress.

Confirming Evidence Trap in decision-making can be avoided through the following ways. First, Examine all the evidence with equal accuracy. This is done by checking on all available information and researching all alternatives made from the information, hence coming up with the correct information to confirm the evidence as per the data collected. We should avoid confirming any evidence without asking two to three questions, then think across the answers and confirm. Secondly, be honest with yourself concerning the motives you have. This is observed when collecting data. We should ensure that we have a positive motive when gathering information about anything. Information should be gathered to help us make good decisions but not favor our opinions.

Thirdly, Confirming Evidence trap can be avoiding yes men people. When in need of advice, look for someone who can never challenge you but the one to confirm your view. Come across friends who confirm your information when trying to decide anything. You should avoid them and find friends with contradicting information hence finding the most important side to avoid future repercussions. Fourthly, when creating counterarguments with oneself, when deciding for someone associated with the devil’s actions, look at the best evidence to decide accordingly without supporting anyone to obtain personal need. This is much applied in criminal justice systems. Fifthly, avoid making decisions as per what we like or dislike. This will lead us to decide as to what is good for us. Before judging any article, you can read the entire article and then use the gathered information from the article to make a decision. Finally, the Examination of counter positions needs an evaluation of the at-hand evidence and then look for other evidence that can be used to compare the available data. The explanation should be collected from both pieces of evidence; hence make the correct decision as per the obtained evidence. We believe that those who believe in facts and have open mind biasness will improve their opinions in decision making. Decisions should be made against incompatibility of the available opinions. Effective executive knows where to compromise during decision-making only in unavoidable circumstances.

From the above confirming evidence-based trap, we believe that many companies have failed others have grown with this trap in place. There it’s my opinion that as long as the effects are positive to the organization or oneself, there is no need to avoid it. Where the effects are negative, then the ways of avoiding confirming the Evidence Trap should be recalled day in and day out. There are several ideas of why the Confirming Evidence trap is important to people’s lives: it reduces stress, doctors have used it to cure diseases, and it reduces mental conflict (Snow, 2019). Therefore, I support it being used when one is at risk of losing their life. It’s my opinion that what makes Confirming Evidence Trap dangerous is its invisibility because when it is wired in our thinking process, and we fail to notice it, then we fall into the trap of it.


We recommend that Confirming Evidence Trap has importance and can be used in different parts of life; therefore, it can be used where it fits well to avoid harm to the surroundings and the humans. Before making any decision, we recommend that one should make sure that they have all the necessary information, even the contradicting one, to make smart decisions. This is because many decisions have hindered personal growth and even teams progress. Therefore, clear and good decisions are needed. Before dismissing any proposal, it’s recommended that it’s good to listen to every idea and reason behind it. This will help avoid losing important people or ideas that could be of use. We recommend that managers evaluate all necessary information concerning the decision objectively without having any assumptions. This will help them avoid major and minor mistakes that can interfere with organizational operations and personal life. Any argument should be investigated with equal intentions. When making a decision, personal preferences and motives should not be considered because if considered and they are the support supporting personal motives, then the information will be biased.

Furthermore, when decisions are made in a group, it’s advised to avoid falling into Confirming Evidence Trap then, the discussion should be seen confirming some ideas and others being put aside. This will help choose the best way to go about the problem at hand. Factual data should be separated from personal opinions to avoid biasness in the data. Confirming Evidence traps inters our ability to think beyond hence reducing innovation in the organizations and progress at a personal level. It is recommended that this trap be avoided at all costs to ensure progress in society. Existing beliefs and thoughts should be challenged so that we can grow our capabilities to be more productive people. Confirming Evidence-based trap should be avoided in politics, too, such that any new incoming politician should be listened to and voted for if they fit for the position. Research sites like social media should be avoided when making a sensitive decision for they contain biased information.


Final Thoughts and Conclusion

This research was based on the effects of Confirming Evidence Trap in decision making and ways of avoiding it. The research purpose was to identify the effects and ways of avoiding to prevent its negative impacts. The research was able to identify negative effects and positive effects of the trap. Different factors results to falling in this trap. They include attitude, situational factors and psychological factors. Attitude becomes bias when one makes a decision considering his/her attitude at the moment. When a certain issue does not concern them, some individuals will make biased decisions. Situations also causes people to make poor decisions. When a certain situation pins down, one can decide that will suit them to raise. Psychological problems like healthy risks it’s easy to make a biased decision that will help in improving life. Its confirmed from the research that Confirming Evidence Trap can cause failure at some point in both organizational and personal life therefore, decisions should be made seriously to avoid this loss.

Additionally, decision is a key factor determining how tasks are planned, and done in the organizations. Decisions also determine how resources are utilized in the business, save time, and make employees active and ready to reach the set goals. However, when the decision process is being done, there should be several alternatives chosen to reach the right decision that will ensure continuity of the business. Decisions affects relationship and communication in the organization and also between individuals therefore to avoid jumping into conclusions which will affect how people relate then Confirming Evidence Trap should be avoided. Good communication in the organization ensures smooth running of the organization therefore it should be considered. Employees opinions should be considered when making decisions there the effect of considering one side’s opinions should be avoided, and all the raised opinions be put in place. This idea will make the employees feel strongly appreciated hence working towards achieving organizational goals. Mistakes in the management decisions will lead to errors and misunderstanding, which can result from Confirming Evidence Trap. Confirming Evidence Trap affects decision. Therefore, when making decisions one should try as much as possible to avoid this trap hence making sound decisions, decisions that will impact the organization and personal being. Much research should be done before coming to any conclusion in the decision making process.

In conclusion, effective decision making, one has to search for enough information before making any decision this will reduce the impacts of Conforming Evidence Trap in decision making. The research has concluded that there are several ways of fighting Confirming Evidence Trap. They include, collecting enough information to deal with any opinions suggested, considering everyone opinions and listening to reason behind the opinions they have, having neutral grounds without any motive when making any decision, listening to other alternatives of ideas them choosing one from alternatives and when in need any advice choose friends who will challenge your opinions. We have evident opinion that Confirming Evidence Trap supports both effects, negative and positive in the decision making process. Any group that fails to put an eye in this trap ends up with uncooked decisions that may not impact the problem.


Boyce, P. (2020). Confirmation Bias (Definition and 4 Examples) – BoyceWire. BoyceWire. Retrieved 7 April 2022, from

Confirmation Bias: Definition and Examples


Cherry, K. (2021). Why Do We Favor Information That Confirms Our Existing Beliefs?. Verywell Mind. Retrieved 7 April 2022, from


Garety, P., Freeman, D., Jolley, S., Ross, K., Waller, H., & Dunn, G. (2013). Jumping to conclusions: the psychology of delusional reasoning. Advances in psychiatric treatment, 17(5), 332-339.

IvyPanda. (2020). Confirming-Evidence Trap in Decision- Making.

McFillen, J. M., O’Neil, D. A., Balzer, W. K., & Varney, G. H. (2013). Organizational diagnosis: An evidence-based approach. Journal of Change Management, 13(2), 223-246.

Powell, W. W., & DiMaggio, P. J. (Eds.). (2012). The new institutionalism in organizational analysis. University of Chicago Press.

Snow, B. (2019). Retrieved 7 April 2022, from

6 common decision-making traps and tips to avoid them


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