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The science of regrettable decisions

https://www.vox.com/2019/7/23/20702987/brain-psychology-making-hard-decisions

vox.com

The science of regrettable decisions
As Full House actress Lori Loughlin and her husband await their next court date, they stand accused of paying a $500,000 bribe to get their daughters into the University of Southern California as crew team recruits.

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Brainshift: how our perceptions alter

Under particular circumstances (involving high anxiety or a major reward) our brains cause us to perceive the world around us in ways that contradict and distort objective reality. It's when we're most likely going to do something regrettable.

This shift in perception is unrelated to our intelligence, morals, or past behaviors. We don’t even know it’s happening, nor can we control it.

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Why we stick to bad decisions

Psychologists call this “the anchoring bias.”

After we’ve made a decision, even an illogical one, we tend to cling to it. That is, we filter out dissenting information while seeking data that confirms our original viewpoints.

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How to avoid brainshift

  • Be aware that we are all vulnerable to the consequences of brainshift, regardless of our ethics, social status, or IQ.
  • Know the situations that stoke your fears and desires: Those involving money, sex, and fame/recognition are good places to start.
  • Answer to these questions: What’s the worst thing that could happen? How would I feel if that outcome occurred?

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