The Default Choice - Deepstash

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When Prompting People to Make a Choice, the Consequence of Not Choosing Matters

The Default Choice

The Default Choice

While prompted to make a decision with a given set of options, a person has the freedom to refuse to actively make a choice.

The decision-making process of the person is affected by the default choice that will be automatically selected in case the person refuses to choose.

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90% of your daily decisions happen automatically, many shaped by your environment. Thus, most decisions are a habit, not a deliberate choice.

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Design your life like a choice architect:

  • Encourage smarter decisions you want to do by making them more accessible.
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Richard Thaler
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“First, never underestimate the power of inertia. Second, that power can be harnessed.” 

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A comprehensive study on Australian households, measuring the quality of wellbeing over 16 years found the following results:

  1. The biggest emotional scars come from deaths, divorce, and heavy financial losses.
  2. Negative events linger in the mind for much longer than the positive ones.
  3. The emotional costs involved with separation (like from a spouse) can be significant, and should be avoided unless completely necessary.
  4. Problems rarely come all at once, and most people recover, showing resilience and adaptability.
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Our level of wellbeing does not change much, with each event, even a catastrophic one, impacting us for a length of time, say a year or two, and then becoming normal to our minds, returning us to our previous levels of wellbeing.

This applies to boosts as well as the plunges.