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Investigating Indecision: Why We Can't Seem to Make Up Our Minds

Pros-and-cons lists are flawed

There are a few biases they don't address:

  • Narrow framing: the tendency to view an option as your only option.
  • Confirmation bias: our tendency to gather the information that supports our preferred option.
  • Short-term emotion: our tendency to have our judgment clouded when emotions run high.
  • Overconfidence: our tendency to make a decision with too much optimism about how things will play out.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

Investigating Indecision: Why We Can't Seem to Make Up Our Minds

Investigating Indecision: Why We Can't Seem to Make Up Our Minds

https://blog.trello.com/indecision-why-we-cant-make-up-our-minds

blog.trello.com

8

Key Ideas

The 37%

Mathematics dictates that you should take 37% of the time or options you have to simply look and after that, you should commit to the first option that is better than everything you’ve seen so far.

That’s the point at which you have the highest chance—in a display of mathematical symmetry, it’s a 37% chance—of making the best choice.

The brain when we make decisions

The 2 systems of the brain that wok during decision making:

  • System 1 is automatic and quick (like "something feeling off").
  • System 2 is deliberate and slow (like an algorithm).

At times, these systems are at odds with each other, but research shows it's always best to trust an algorithm than your own gut.

The WRAP technique for decision making

  • Widen your options: challenge yourself to consider alternatives. 
  • Reality-test your assumptions: run small experiments so you can know rather than predict which decision will work best for you.
  • Attain distance before deciding with the try the 10/10/10 approach: How would you feel about this decision 10 minutes from now, 10 months from now, and 10 years from now?
  • Prepare to be wrong: things could always go wrong. Prepare for it in advance.

Avoid making bad snap decisions

  • Successful decision-making relies on a balance between deliberate and intuitive thinking.
  • Opt for less information; stick to only what is essential. We may feel more confident when doing a lot of research, but this could lead to indecision and analysis paralysis.

Making snap judgments

Snap judgments are most accurate if these things are present: experience and expertise. In other words, we must train our intuition.

Actively managing delay

  • Find out how much time you have to make the decision.
  • Wait as long as possible to choose. By giving yourself extra time, you have more opportunities to explore your options and gain valuable insight.

This works best if you're a novice, as an expert generally won’t need to delay a decision.

Deciding how to decide

Take into considerations these things:

  • Intuition is best used by experts, not novices.
  • Algorithms are better at decisions than the human brain.
  • Take your time (but not too much of it). 

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  • Maximizers feel less satisfied even if they make better decisions, since they had so much choice, and choosing the best comes down to some sort of compromise.
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