Deciding how to decide - Deepstash

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

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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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Good decisions
Good decisions

To make good decisions, we generally need to do the following:

  • Identify the decision: recognizing the need to make a decision, and identifying what that decision inv...
Why people struggle with decision making
  • The main reason why decision-making is hard is that every decision makes us go through a process that is most times difficult and complex, and having difficulties with any part of it can hinder the whole process.
  • The emotional difficulty that we face when we need to pick only one of multiple possible options means that we have to forego several alternatives that we may find appealing. This is associated with the concept of FOMO (the fear of missing out).
  • The decision-making process can be very demanding, from a cognitive and an emotional perspective. Also, the act of making a decision is tiring in itself, since it depletes the cognitive resources.
  • Being tired and sleep-deprived can make it more difficult for us to process information, and more likely for us to suffer from various cognitive biases that get in the way of making good decisions.
Barry Schwartz
Barry Schwartz

“The existence of multiple alternatives makes it easy for us to imagine alternatives that don’t exist—alternatives that combine the attractive features of the ones that do exist. And to the extent that we engage our imaginations in this way, we will be even less satisfied with the alternative we end up choosing. So… a greater variety of choices actually makes us feel worse.”

Every Decision In Life Becomes a Trade-Off
Every Decision In Life Becomes a Trade-Off

... and boils down to what we give up to attain something. Our mindsets are inclined towards pleasure and resistive towards pain. We normally like to think in terms of gai...

Good and Bad Decisions

Decisions are a cost-benefit analysis of risking something small for the opportunity to gain something big.

  • Good decisions can be: Exercising, meditating for 10 minutes daily, finding the courage and striking up a conversation with someone, applying for jobs that you may or may not get.
  • Bad decisions can be: lying or pretending to someone, driving unsafely, sending angry text messages, or staying up late drinking before an important meeting or exam in the morning.
Trade-offs and Life Values

Trade-offs are not something as simple as flipping a coin. Our values guide us towards what we want in life, and it is not the same for all. Example: Buying a house has a trade-off of mortgage for the next ten or more years. This is subjective and depends on what we value in life.

Indecisive people suffer because they don’t know their inner values and what they care about.

Consider the context

We can fall victim to psychological barriers when we try to cling to general wisdom and favor absolutes, rather than act as we should.
We implement best practices without considering the...

Pike Syndrome

It's a feeling of powerlessness caused by repeated negative events. Maybe you’re a designer whose boss keeps shooting down ideas, for example.

In school, we are taught that there are right and wrong answers, and we learn to treat every task at work like we have to find the right answer. We don't look for a better option because we are only concerned with the right answer.

The Foraging Choice

It's the decision between using your current position and exploring other options. When we are stressed, we will rather hold on to our current position and exploit it than searching for another opportunity.

However, if we looked at our current position in context, we would be more confident to try something else. It means understanding what you want to achieve in the future and how you take advantage of today.