Decisions, Decisions - Deepstash
Decisions, Decisions

Decisions, Decisions



Keep reading for FREE

Making Decisions

Making Decisions

It would be easy to ascribe these tendencies to a simple quirk of evolution—a kind of mental tic encoded in our genes. But what if the cognitive biases we exhibit when making choices are not limited to us? What if these biases are basic emergent properties of any system forced to make decisions with limited mental resources?

In order to get inside the “black box” of humanity’s irrationality when deciding between many options, researchers created a simplified mathematical model of how a machine—an “automaton”—would make choices.


329 reads


Automatons are decision-making algorithms expressed mathematically rather than in code. These automatons commit the same “mistakes” that humans do when making decisions. An automaton may exhibit a “primacy” effect, in which it tends to pick one of the first items on a list. An automaton may also exhibit a “recency” effect, in which it goes for the last item on a list.

The ability of automatons to mimic human behavior, and the fact that they are built from mathematical first principles, means automatons can be used to formally analyze the fundamental tradeoffs that we face when making choices.


169 reads

Rational Or Irrational Decisions

When decision-makers are satisficing, it is not hard to see why they would be more likely to choose an item that appears earlier on a list, because they stop as soon as they find one that meets their pre-existing criteria, and might not even look at every item in a list.

Contrast this strategy with rational decision making, which is a standard assumption in many economic models. It turns out that making a decision “rationally”—which in economics terms means analyzing every possible option—requires a great deal of cognitive horsepower.


133 reads

History-Dependent Satisficer

Humans are neither perfectly rational decision-makers nor strict satisficers, no matter how Spock-like or impulsive any individual may seem.

A history-dependent satisficer automaton has some ability to remember what options it has seen before and to modify its criteria accordingly. The more memory this automaton possesses, the closer it gets to the choices yielded by rational decision making. The more states the automaton has, the better a decision it can make.


134 reads

The First Option On The List

The effects that researchers derive using mathematical analysis show up everywhere in the real world. Humans are more likely to vote for candidates who appear first on a ballot, more likely to click on options at the top of their computer screen, and more likely to give high scores to competitors who appear first and last in a competition.

There was even a lawsuit in the 1980s in which the federal government forced American Airlines to stop putting its own flights above those of its competitors in American’s computer reservation system.


96 reads



Nothing lasts forever, not even your problems. Stay positive.


Psychologists and behavioral economists have established that humans exhibit a number of fairly predictable biases in their decision making. For example, when offered a menu, people generally choose one of the first items on it or the very last item.

Ready for the next level?

Read Like a Pro


Explore the World’s

Best Ideas

200,000+ ideas on pretty much any topic. Created by the smartest people around & well-organized so you can explore at will.

An Idea for Everything

Explore the biggest library of insights. And we've infused it with powerful filtering tools so you can easily find what you need.

Knowledge Library

Powerful Saving & Organizational Tools

Save ideas for later reading, for personalized stashes, or for remembering it later.

# Personal Growth

Take Your Ideas


Organize your ideas & listen on the go. And with Pro, there are no limits.

Listen on the go

Just press play and we take care of the words.

Never worry about spotty connections

No Internet access? No problem. Within the mobile app, all your ideas are available, even when offline.

Get Organized with Stashes

Ideas for your next work project? Quotes that inspire you? Put them in the right place so you never lose them.


2 Million Stashers


5,740 Reviews

App Store


72,690 Reviews

Google Play

Ashley Anthony

This app is LOADED with RELEVANT, HELPFUL, AND EDUCATIONAL material. It is creatively intellectual, yet minimal enough to not overstimulate and create a learning block. I am exceptionally impressed with this app!

Shankul Varada

Best app ever! You heard it right. This app has helped me get back on my quest to get things done while equipping myself with knowledge everyday.

Sean Green

Great interesting short snippets of informative articles. Highly recommended to anyone who loves information and lacks patience.


Don’t look further if you love learning new things. A refreshing concept that provides quick ideas for busy thought leaders.

Ghazala Begum

Even five minutes a day will improve your thinking. I've come across new ideas and learnt to improve existing ways to become more motivated, confident and happier.

Giovanna Scalzone

Brilliant. It feels fresh and encouraging. So many interesting pieces of information that are just enough to absorb and apply. So happy I found this.

Jamyson Haug

Great for quick bits of information and interesting ideas around whatever topics you are interested in. Visually, it looks great as well.

Laetitia Berton

I have only been using it for a few days now, but I have found answers to questions I had never consciously formulated, or to problems I face everyday at work or at home. I wish I had found this earlier, highly recommended!

Read & Learn

20x Faster





Access to 200,000+ ideas

Access to the mobile app

Unlimited idea saving & library

Unlimited history

Unlimited listening to ideas

Downloading & offline access

Personalized recommendations


Claim Your Limited Offer

Get Deepstash Pro

Supercharge your mind with one idea per day

Enter your email and spend 1 minute every day to learn something new.


I agree to receive email updates