Master of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) Capstone Projects

Document Type

Working Paper

Date of this Version



Adversarial growth and learning from error is an essential capability for individuals in organizations, and carries particular challenges for anyone in a leadership position. This paper focuses on a strengths based perspective to Decision Adversity (DA) in the workplace. Decision adversity encompasses the stress and consequences of making and pursuing wrong business decisions; wrong decisions that are, in hindsight, incompatible with corporate goals and deplete resources. It reviews topics and studies on the challenges of decisions, including: dealing with uncertainty, difficulties in recognizing when a decision that is no longer advantageous, the anxiety of questioning a potentially wrong path, and coping with an outcome of a decision that was, in hindsight, the wrong choice. It will propose how a focus on character strengths can influence positive responsive behaviors, emotions, and actions. Interviews with experienced professionals will explore questions of DA from the perspective of those making and implementing decisions, highlighting opportunities and use of character strengths when coping with and responding to these situations. The paper will conclude with strengths focused recommendations, and suggest opportunities for further exploration of the use of strengths in addressing decision adversity.


decision, character strengths, planning fallacy, escalation of committment, sunk cost

Included in

Psychology Commons



Date Posted: 22 August 2013